J Am Coll Radiol. 2021 May;18(5S):S73-S82. doi: 10.1016/j.jacr.2021.01.020.
Myelopathy is a clinical diagnosis with localization of the neurological findings to the spinal cord, rather than the brain or the peripheral nervous system, and then to a particular segment of the spinal cord. Myelopathy can be the result of primary intrinsic disorders of the spinal cord or from secondary conditions, which result in extrinsic compression of the spinal cord. While the causes of myelopathy may be multiple, the acuity of presentation and symptom onset frame a practical approach to the differential diagnosis. Imaging plays a crucial role in the evaluation of myelopathy with MRI the preferred modality. The American College of Radiology Appropriateness Criteria are evidence-based guidelines for specific clinical conditions that are reviewed annually by a multidisciplinary expert panel. The guideline development and revision include an extensive analysis of current medical literature from peer reviewed journals and the application of well-established methodologies (RAND/UCLA Appropriateness Method and Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation or GRADE) to rate the appropriateness of imaging and treatment procedures for specific clinical scenarios. In those instances where evidence is lacking or equivocal, expert opinion may supplement the available evidence to recommend imaging or treatment.