Proposed diagnostic criteria and nosology of acute transverse myelitis

G. Barnes, S. Benjamin, J. D. Bowen, N. Cutter, B. J. De Lateur, W. D. Dietrich, M. M. Dowling, J. W. Griffin, L. Hummers, D. Irani, P. G. Jorens, A. I. Kaplin, J. D. Katz, D. A. Kerr, C. Krishnan, C. E. Levy, C. Lucchinetti, D. J. Lynn, R. N. Mandler, J. C. McArthurJ. W. McDonald, L. Morrison, C. Pardo-Villamizar, F. S. Pidcock, R. Ransohoff, K. L. Roos, M. K. Trovato, T. L. Vollmer, S. T. Wegener, B. G. Weinshenker, D. M. Wingerchuk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

560 Scopus citations


Acute transverse myelitis (ATM) is a focal inflammatory disorder of the spinal cord, resulting in motor, sensory, and autonomic dysfunction. A set of uniform diagnostic criteria and nosology for ATM is proposed to avoid the confusion that inevitably results when investigators use differing criteria. This will ensure a common language of classification, reduce diagnostic confusion, and lay the groundwork necessary for multicenter clinical trials. In addition, a framework is suggested for evaluation of individuals presenting with signs and symptoms of ATM. Best treatment often depends on a timely and accurate diagnosis. Because acute transverse myelopathies are relatively rare, delayed and incomplete work-ups often occur. Rapid and precise diagnosis will ensure not only that compressive lesions are detected and treated but also that idiopathic ATM is distinguished from ATM secondary to a known underlying disease. Identification of etiologies may suggest medical treatment, whereas no clearly established medical treatment currently exists for idiopathic ATM. Establishment of a diagnostic algorithm will likely lead to improved care, although it is recognized that the entire evaluation may not be performed for each patient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)499-505
Number of pages7
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 27 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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