Relationship between Machine-Learning Image Classification of T2-Weighted Intramedullary Hypointensity on 3 Tesla Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Clinical Outcome in Dogs with Severe Spinal Cord Injury. Academic Article uri icon


  • Early prognostic information in cases of severe spinal cord injury can aid treatment planning and stratification for clinical trials. Analysis of intraparenchymal signal change on magnetic resonance imaging has been suggested to inform outcome prediction in traumatic spinal cord injury. We hypothesized that intraparenchymal T2-weighted hypointensity would be associated with a lower potential for functional recovery and a higher risk of progressive neurological deterioration in dogs with acute, severe, naturally occurring spinal cord injury. Our objectives were to: 1) demonstrate capacity for machine-learning criteria to identify clinically relevant regions of hypointensity and 2) compare clinical outcomes for cases with and without such regions. A total of 95 dogs with complete spinal cord injury were evaluated. An image classification system, based on Speeded-Up Robust Features (SURF), was trained to recognize individual axial T2-weighted slices that contained hypointensity. The presence of such slices in a given transverse series was correlated with a lower chance of functional recovery (odds ratio [OR], 0.08; confidence interval [CI], 0.02-0.38; p<10-3) and with a higher risk of neurological deterioration (OR, 0.14; 95% CI, 0.05-0.42; p<10-3). Identification of intraparenchymal T2-weighted hypointensity in severe, naturally occurring spinal cord injury may be assisted by an image classification tool and is correlated with functional recovery.

published proceedings

  • J Neurotrauma

author list (cited authors)

  • Boudreau, E., Otamendi, A., Levine, J., Griffin, J. F., Gilmour, L., & Jeffery, N.

citation count

  • 7

complete list of authors

  • Boudreau, Elizabeth||Otamendi, Arturo||Levine, Jonathan||Griffin, John F||Gilmour, Lindsey||Jeffery, Nicholas

publication date

  • March 2021