Spinal Cord Imaging

Research Works


Multiparametric Spinal Cord Imaging

The general objective of the Spinal Cord MRI research group is to improve the non invasive characterization of the spinal cord impairments and to help in the description of the spinal cord pathophysiological mechanisms using quantitative and multi-parametric Magnetic Resonance Imaging.
Benefiting from a unique platform including small animal MR facilities, clinical research scanners and ultra-high field systems, the Spinal Cord MR Imaging axis is developed transversally from experimental models to patient explorations, from dedicated MR methodological developments to specific post-processing tools, in close collaboration with academic and clinician partners.

The project, initially based on small animal MR investigations , now largely relies on developments directed toward human explorations. This includes morphology, structure, perfusion, metabolism and function assessments using  quantitative and Ultra-High Field MR methods  together with dedicated Spinal Cord templates and probabilistic atlases .

These tools are directly applied for pathological Spinal Cord investigations , including Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) in collaboration with the Neurology Department of La Timone Hospital (APHM, Pr. B. Audoin, Pr. J. Pelletier, Pr. S. Attarian, Dr. A. Verschueren), Cervicarthrosic Myelopathy (CSM) in collaboration with the Neurosurgery Department of the North Hospital (APHM, Pr. PH. Roche, Dr. A. Melot), NeuroMyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorders (NMOSD) in collaboration with the CHU Lyon (Pr. R. Marignier), as well as normal Ageing and sport-related microtraumatism such as encountered in Rugby.

One part of the project additionally combines MR and biomechanical computational modeling in order to provide an extensive and a multi-physic description of both traumatic and degenerative spinal cord pathologies. These innovative researches are conducted within the French-Canadian International Research Laboratory (IRL) “iLab-Spine”.


Projects : see below


Member List:

Virginie Callot (Research Director, CNRS)
Aurélien Destruel(Postdoctoral fellow)
Kaissar Farah (Neurosurgeon, APHM; PhD student)
Arash Forodighasemabadi (PhD student, DOC2AMU program)
Guillaume Frébourg (PhD student, Neuroschool program)
Nilser Laines Medina (IE contractuel)
Samira Mchinda (Postdoctoral fellow)
Claire Costes (MR technologist, CNRS)
Arnaud Le Troter (IR, CNRS)
Lauriane Pini (MR technologist, CNRS)
Patrick Viout (technician, AP-HM)


Close Collaborators:

Clinicians / AP-HM: Pr. PH. Roche, Dr. Baucher (Neurosurgery); Pr. B. Audoin, Pr. J. Pelletier, Dr. S. Demortière (Neurology); Dr. A. Verschueren, Dr. AM. Grapperon, Pr. S. Attarian (Neurology and Neuromuscular Diseases); Dr. JB. Grisoli (Sports Medicine, APHM)
CRMBM-CEMEREM: G.Duhamel, O. Girard, JP. Ranjeva
IRL / LIA iLab-Spine : PJ. Arnoux (LBA), M. Evin (LBA), Y. Petit (ETS/HSC), E. Wagnac (ETS), CE. Aubin (EPM/HSJ)



Tangi Roussel (postdoctoral fellow), Simon Lévy (PhD student), Henitsoa Rasoanandrianina (PhD student), Aurélien Massire (postdoctoral fellow), Amira Trabelsi (research engineer), Manuel Taso (PhD student), Kathleen Perrin (research engineer), Léo Fradet (postdoctoral fellow), Mohamed Tachrount (postdoctoral fellow)


Key-words :

Spinal Cord, Morphometry, Diffusion, Perfusion, Structure, Function, Ultra-High Field, 7T, Probabilistic atlas, MR template, iLab-Spine, neurodegenerative pathologies, Multiple Sclerosis, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis


Associated Keywords

  • Image Segmentation
  • Inhomogenous Magnetization Transfer (ihMT)
  • Metabolism
  • Microstructure/architecture
  • MR Physics / MR Method developments
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • New Contrasts
  • New MR Biomarkers
  • Parallel Transmit
  • Perfusion Methods
  • Quantitative MRI
  • Spinal Cord
  • Ultra-high field MRI