Clinical condition: ataxia

Duration of ataxia (adult or child)MRI headMRI cervical, thoracic and lumbar spineMRI cervical spineCT headCT head without contrastMRA headMRA head and neckMR spectroscopy head (MRS)CTA head and/or neck
Slowly progressive or chronic*87aX5XXX2X
Acute (< 3 hours) as a suspected stroke8b,cX5g8b,dXX8b28b
Acute or subacute as a suspected infection8X6a5e45X6f5
Acute following head trauma8XX6e9X6X6
  • Note:—Rating Scale: 1, least appropriate; 9, most appropriate.

  • * FDG-PET brain received a rating of 3.

  • See the ACR Appropriateness Criteria topic for cerebrovascular disease.

  • MRI neck received a rating of 6.

  • a Ataxia can be of spinal origin. Consider if brain imaging is negative or inconclusive.

  • b MR preferred if treatment is not unreasonably delayed. Combined vascular and cerebral evaluation should be considered.

  • c Fat saturated T1 axial images.

  • d CT perfusion is less accurate in the posterior fossa.

  • e CT temporal bone may be useful when skull-based or middle ear disease suspected.

  • f May help distinguish abscess from other masses.