Spinal Cord Imaging

Research Works

Principal investigator : Virginie CALLOT

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 postprocessing approaches such as Spinal Cord templates and probabilistic atlases .

These tools are directly applied for pathological Spinal Cord investigations , including Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and NeuroMyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorders (NMOSD) in collaboration with the Neurology Department of La Timone Hospital (APHM, Pr. B. Audoin, Pr. J. Pelletier), Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) in collaboration with the Neuromuscular and ALS diseases Department of La Timone Hospital (APHM, Pr. S. Attarian, Dr. A. Verschueren), and Cervicarthrosic Myelopathy (CSM) in collaboration with the Neurosurgery Department of the North Hospital (APHM, Pr. PH. Roche, Dr. G. Baucher) and La Timone Hospital (APHM, S. Fuentes, Dr K.Farah), but also to investigate 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, DR CNRS)

Aurélien Destruel (Research Associate, CR CNRS)

Samira Mchinda (Postdoctoral fellow)

Guillaume Frébourg (PhD student, Neuroschool program)

Kaissar Farah (Neurosurgeon, APHM; PhD student)

Nilser Laines Medina (PhD student)

François Suzanne (IR, APHM)

Hugo Dary (IR, CNRS)

Claire Costes (MR technologist, CNRS)

Lauriane Pini (MR technologist, CNRS)

Shirley Corella (MR technologist, 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, L. Soustelle, JP. Ranjeva

IRL / LIA iLab-Spine : PJ. Arnoux (LBA), M. Evin (LBA), Y. Petit (ETS/HSC), E. Wagnac (ETS), CE. Aubin (EPM/HSJ)


Alumni: Arash Forodigasemadabi (PhD student, now postdoctoral fellow at IHU Lyric (Bordeaux)), Tangi Roussel (postdoctoral fellow), Simon Lévy (PhD student, now working with Siemens Healthineers), Henitsoa Rasoanandrianina (PhD student, now working with Olea Medical), Aurélien Massire (postdoctoral fellow, now working with Siemens Healthineers), Amira Trabelsi (research engineer, now working with Multiwave Imaging), Manuel Taso (PhD student, now working with Siemens Healthineers), Kathleen Perrin (research engineer), Léo Fradet (postdoctoral fellow, now CEO of Philomec), Mohamed Tachrount (postdoctoral fellow, now IR in Oxford)


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


Open Science : dedicated post processing tools are now fully available for IVIM and DSC spinal cord MR perfusion, spinal cord MR spectroscopy, and 7T spinal cord segmentation. More is to come! Database can be shared upon request.


SC team over the years .. :


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