OBJECTIVE This study aims to evaluate "in vivo" the integrity of the normal-appearing spinal cord (NASC) in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) compared to controls, using diffusion tensor MR imaging. METHODS We studied 32 patients with MS and 17 without any neurologic disorder. Fractional anisotropy (FA), axial diffusivity (AD), radial diffusivity (RD) and mean diffusivity (MD) were calculated within regions of interest at C2 and C7 levels in the four columns of the spinal cord. RESULTS At C2, FA value was decreased in MS patients. Besides, RD value was higher in MS than in controls. At C7, MD values were increased in MS. CONCLUSION The NASC in the right column of the cervical spinal cord showed abnormal FA, RD and MD values, which is possibly related to demyelination, since the FA abnormality was related to the RD and not to the AD.