Non-invasive near-infrared spectroscopy assessment of the spinal neurovascular response in a patient with transverse myelitis: a case report

Juan Esteban Oyarzún, Raúl Caulier-Cisterna, Juan Pablo González-Appelgren, Leticia Gonzalez, Oscar Trujillo, Antonio Eblen-Zajjur, Sergio Uribe

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Background: Transverse myelitis (TM) is characterized by acute development of motor, sensory and autonomic dysfunctions due to horizontally diffused inflammation in one or more segments of the spinal cord in the absence of a compressive lesion. The not well-known inflammation process induces demyelination resulting in neurological dysfunction. Case presentation: In this case report we used a functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) technique to evaluate changes in the peri-spinal vascular response induced by a peripheral median nerve electrical stimulation in a patient with chronic transverse myelitis (TM). fNIRS showed drastically reduced signal amplitude in the peri-spinal vascular response, compared to that obtained from a healthy control group throughout most of the C7-T1 and T10-L2 spinal cord segments. Conclusion: The potential use of this relatively non-invasive fNIRS technology support the potential clinical application of this method for functional test of the spinal cord through the assessment of the spinal neurovascular response.

Original languageEnglish
Article number393
Number of pages5
JournalBMC Neurology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 24 Oct 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS)
  • Neuron-vascular coupling
  • Non-invasive method
  • Spinal neuronal activity
  • Spinal neurovascular response
  • Transverse myelitis

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