Pancake sign

Last revised by Rohit Sharma on 2 Aug 2023

The pancake sign represents flat, tranverse gadolinium enhancement at the midpoint of a hyperintense, spindle-shaped T2 signal and is seen on sagittal and axial MR imaging 1. The axial corollary is formed by circumferential enhancement with sparing the spinal gray matter 2. Of note, the enhancement spans less than one vertebral body and is localized immediately below the point of maximal stenosis.

Although frequently described as a pattern seen in spondylotic myelopathy, the pancake sign may also be seen in pathologies involving focal disruption of the blood-brain barrier 2.

While clinical myelopathy may help to make the diagnosis of spondylotic myelopathy, spinal cord enhancement may be due to other etiologies including 1,3,4 :

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