Acute Transverse Myelitis | Testing & Diagnosis

How is Acute Transverse Myelitis (ATM) diagnosed?

There is not one specific test that is used to diagnose ATM. There are several exams and tests that the doctors must look at including:

  • your child's medical history
  • a neurological examination
  • spine MRI scan to check for swelling in the spinal cord and rule out causes other than ATM
  • brain MRI scan to make sure there is no swelling in the brain
  • a lumbar puncture (spinal tap) to make sure that there is no infection in the spinal fluid, such as meningitis or encephalitis
  • blood tests to look for infectious triggers and for other conditions which can be confused with ATM