2015 Research Foundation Grant Recipient: Dr. Maxwell Boakye

Improving Acute SCI Assessment with Cine MRI and Epidural Electrophysiology

Maxwell Boakye, MD, MPH, MBA 
University of Louisville Research Foundation
$150,000 (2 Years)

Our goal in this proposal is to use advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and intraoperative epidural electro-physiological techniques to improve assessment of acute spinal cord injury (SCI) during the critical period when the cord is at greatest risk for secondary injury. Phase-contrast or Cine Flow MRI (C-MRI) will be used to measure cerebrospinal fluid flow rates and velocities around the spinal injury site. Intraoperative epidural electrophysiological data will be used to identify the presence or absence of a conduction block at the injury site and confirm injury completeness.

The overall rationale for the study is to establish that these tests can significantly increase the accuracy of current predictive models of SCI outcomes. They would also prevent unnecessary interventions in those patients with little or no chance of neurological recovery and provide objective highly reproducible verification of long-term functional status.