Imaging Review of the Conus Medullaris and Cauda Equina: What Radiologists Should Know

Cardenas, A.M.; Kelahan, L.C.; Jorquera, M.; Martin-Lores, I.; Sayah, A.

View Article on Neurographics Website

Date of Activity Release: Oct. 1, 2017
Date of Activity Expiration: Oct. 1, 2020

Target Audience:
Intended for neuroradiologists and neuroradiology trainees with varying degrees of experience.

Learning Objective:
Recognize the normal and abnormal imaging appearance of the conus medullaris and the cauda equina, and provide a differential diagnosis for the developmental, infectious, inflammatory, vascular, and neoplastic processes that involve this region.

The conus medullaris and the cauda equina are unique parts of the spinal cord, and, although affected by many of the same pathologies found elsewhere in the cord, these structures also present with unique afflictions not seen elsewhere. Here we reviewed the anatomy and embryologic development and abnormalities of the development of the conus medullaris and the cauda equina. We present multitechnique imaging findings of congenital, infectious, inflammatory, vascular, and neoplastic involvement of the conus medullaris and cauda equina. This should be a succinct and central reference for the radiologist in evaluating the conus medullaris and cauda equina.

Commercial Support
No commercial support was received for this activity.

Credit Designation Statement

The American Society of Neuroradiology is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The American Society of Neuroradiology designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Method of Physician Participation:
Each participant will review the corresponding Neurographics article located at Upon completion, each physician will complete and pass a post-test with a score of at least 80% to receive a CME certificate.

All individuals in control of content have disclosed the following relevant financial relationships. All of these relationships were treated as a conflict of interest, and have been resolved (C7 SCS 6.1-6.2, 6.5)

Authors have no relevant financial relationships.





Barton Branstetter 

Editor in Chief

None, N/A

Adam Flanders

Deputy Editor

Royalties, Lippincott Williams and Wilkins

Robert Quencer 

Consulting Editor

None, N/A

Mark Mullins

Associate Editor

Non-remunerative position, AUR6

Meng Law

Associate Editor

Stockholder, Clinical Imaging

Michele Johnson

Associate Editor

Consultant, Boston Scientific, Inc.

Edward Escott

Associate Editor

Grant, Atherysys, Inc.; Royalties, Thieme Medical Publishers

Scott Faro

Associate Editor

None, N/A

Tina Young Poussaint

Associate Editor

None, N/A

Dheeraj Ghandi

Associate Editor

Grant, Arstasis, Axera Inc.; Consultant, Covidien, EV3

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