How to Read a MRI of the Normal Cervical Spine (Neck) | Colorado Spine Expert

How to Read a MRI of the Normal Cervical Spine (Neck) | Colorado Spine Expert

the cervical spine MRI can be viewed in two different
planes a side view plane called sagittal
plane and a bottom-up plane called an axial plane on the side view what we do is we take a samurai sword and
literally slice the spine like a loaf of bread into different
sections and that is what is represented up here by the side view of the cervical spine or the sagittal
view you can see the individual discs here which are represented by the discs here and in the center where the spinal cord
is you can see the spinal cord coming down in the center there you can see these spinous processes which are projecting out of the back right here the bottom-up view which is noted here is essentially this view the vertebral body is here which is represented by the
first part of the image here the spinal canal with the spinal cord is
here which you can notice in this area and the two paired facets on either
side here which you’ll notice here and here on the MRI we’re going to talk about a new normal
cervical spine MRI to remember the anatomy what we do is we have two views we have the
side view of the spine and we have bottom-up view of the spine on the side view you are looking in the
center now we can tell because we can look at this
image and we can see where this cut lines and the cut line is that right in the
center of the canal that reflects where we are we can move this image and you’ll see by moving the
image of the cut line moves off the center to the side so we can move it in either direction
and see the spine in multiple dimensions we will start with the center here we see the brain stem the medulla
oblongata and the pons we see the cerebellum in the cerebellar
tonsils and then we see the structure of the
spinal cord which comes all the way down the spine from the top to the bottom and
ends in the lumbar spine the white stuff on either side of this is cerebral
spinal fluid which is simply water your brain and spinal cord float in water you can see the individual vertebra here and you can see the discs in between the
vertebra here the first and second vertebra are very
different than the rest of the vertebra the first and second have a big head on
the second one and a small ring on the first one we can see the back where we see these
spinous processes and these are little bumps that we can feel when we press on
the back of our neck through the skin here to feel those little processes you can see muscles here and you can see
fat here and here we start with the vertebra in between
the vertebrae of course are the discs the discs are named for the vertebra they
are sandwiched in between this is C two this is C three so this is the C
two three disc this is C three and C four or the C three four disc and so on C
four five five six C six seven and now C seven T one as this is the first thoracic vertebra we can look at the back of the discs to make sure there are no herniations or significant spurs and we can pull to either side to look for that we can
see here that everything looks normal we can look at the cord itself to see if there’s any compression what we’d like to see is the csf or
this water on either side of the cord because it
acts has a cushion we want to make sure the cord has no
change in its uniform dark signal because light spots in the cord can
indicate an injury or some disease processes with him then look here at the top down view what we’re doing is we’re making a cut
through this part of the spine and looking essentially up at it from the
bottom here we see the spinal cord sitting in this sac the dural sac and this is the water or the csf we can see the exit zones for the nerve on either side and these exit zones are defined by the
vertebral body here and by the back of the facet here and
these are nice large exit zones we can start to move down the spine and then we get to the vertebral body and then we pass that level to get to
the next one here again is the cord and here are the two
exit zones for the nerves that are leaving this cord we then march down again to the next
level and again see the normal cord and the
normal nerve exit zones and we can continue down all through the spine looking here at C five six with a normal exit zones and continue down to C six seven with normal exit zones and even continue down into C seven T one with normal nerve exit zones so this defines a normal MRI of the cervial spine

30 comments on “How to Read a MRI of the Normal Cervical Spine (Neck) | Colorado Spine Expert

  1. Stephen Taylor Post author

    Excellent review of the basics of normal cervical (neck) anatomy and common abnormal findings on MRI.

  2. April C. Post author

    How do you get that marker line on there? I have my MRI on cd and cant figure out how to line up those 2 views.

  3. evilmoke Post author

    Fantastic video, I have to present on the cervical spine in two days, hopefully I'll be as clear as this!


  4. 29AR86 Post author

    Dear Dr. Corenman, is there a way I can send you my MRI CD-ROM over the internet for you to evaluate or even do a youtube video on (lol) ?

  5. sarva khitana Bunbulama Post author

    thank you so much, I enjoyed watching this. I opened the MRI envelop without permit ion. well it is mine MRI, I have been trying to read it. watched lots of videos. this was the best.

  6. Meghlaoui Bouchebcheb Post author

    dr bouchebcheb from algeria in north africa
    thank you so much it s very good and very clear
    if only i can see other videos i mean your videos
    i dont speak english well

  7. Doyle Raizner LLP Post author

    Thank you for the detailed tutorial on how to read a MRI of the normal cervical spine, or neck. From time to time, we must review cases that include a MRI and this information is very beneficial in our understanding the material.

  8. Anil Saisbhan Post author

    Thanks so much for that video. When you have an MRI done, can you request the digital data from the MRI Center that you can view the images like how you have done in the video? I would think that since you paid to have it done, you should be entitled to the data / all the images…??? Of course – you would probably need special software to view the data files… But I'm sure that can be acquired as well.

  9. kattalina m Kazunas Post author

    I am getting 3 mri's in a few days, one of brain, neck, and whole spine. Watching this video was very useful to me. Very clear. Thank you!!

  10. VJ Post author

    My MRI T2 mid-line sagittal view image no.120 of the cervical spine only showed minor degeneration and mild canal stenosis. However, the first lateral image no.119 to the right of the mid-line sagittal view showed C3/4 and C4/5 disc herniations and spinal cord compression at these levels ( myeloradiculopathy). Do you use the lateral views of the MRI to confirm severe canal stenosis, disc herniations and spinal cord compressions? or do you confirm these findings using the MRI mid-line sagittal view only?

  11. Claire D. Post author

    what viewer are you using? My disk images always seem to come out very blurry…not crisp and distinct as your images. I though perhaps the viewer I'm using was the cause but find a simple to use Dicom viewer linux seems a difficult thing to find.

  12. r .s Post author

    I have this and doctors here say its normal issue for this , problem is i cant drive im worried about driving to job would cause further problems for me. However , i might get fired for being absent from job because of this issue…

  13. Steve Post author

    You said csf is cushion water around the spinal cord. In the MRI image shown here, it seems like there are areas where the csf cushion is constricted — almost nearly touching the spinal cord. You claim this is normal?? Explain.

  14. Astro cytoma Post author

    I have a lesion on the C6 Vertebral body and according to the radiologist, "might represent an atypical hemangioma". Doc ordered the Cervical MRI because of occipital headache (inflammed nerve and/pinched nerve), Neuritis, and Personal history of astrocytoma (grade 1 located on the floor of the 4th ventricle, near the cerebellum) removed 32 years ago.

  15. Astro cytoma Post author

    Have been watching this video and trying to learn how to read my copy of the Cervical MRI that was done 2 weeks ago. I'm a slow learner and will be rewatching this video, and others, mulitiple times! My doc showed me where my lesion is on the spine. I want to understand the MRI and be able to ask intelligent questions during the next visit.

  16. Manoj Mahapatra Post author

    I am suffer vibration on thigh,mouth,hand and finger.i feel movement problems also.what I do?PlZ suggest me sir

  17. Robert Long Post author

    Curious why Coronal isn't standard… Better shot of the Alar/Transverse among other


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