II. Indications

  1. Lumbosacral Radiculopathy
  2. Spinal Epidural Abscess (Spinal Osteomyelitis)
  3. Spinal Cord Tumor
  4. Spinal stenosis
  5. Nontraumatic vascular injuries of the spine

III. Contraindications: Implantable Device

  1. Pacemaker
  2. Ferromagnetic vascular clip
  3. Intracranial clips
  4. Other metal or magnetic devices
  5. Claustrophobia (less in open-sided MRI)

IV. Pitfalls: Coincidental Findings in pain free patients

  1. Asymptomatic Under 60 years old
    1. Bulging disc: 33%
    2. Herniated disc: 20%
    3. Unexpected XRay finding: 0.0004% (1 in 2500)
  2. Asymptomatic Over 60 years old
    1. Degenerative changes: 100%
    2. Bulging disk: 80%
    3. Herniated disk: 33%
    4. Spinal stenosis: 20%
  3. References
    1. Boden (1990) J Bone Joint Surg Am 72:403-8 [PubMed]
    2. Boos (1995) Spine 20:2613-25 [PubMed]

V. Disadvantages

  1. Expensive
  2. High False Positive Rate (asymptomatic changes)
  3. Very sensitive to patient movement

VI. Advantages

  1. No radiation
  2. Large area of spine covered
  3. Shows soft tissue well (e.g. nerve)
  4. Shows changes within disc and Vertebral body

VII. Adjuncts: Gadolinium Contrast

  1. Not recommended if prior Lumbar Spine surgery
    1. Contrast in this case reduces accuracy
  2. May offer additional information in select cases
    1. Enhances nerve roots in inflammation and infection
    2. Distinguishes recurrent disc Herniation from scar

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Ontology: MRI of lumbar spine (C0412720)

Concepts Diagnostic Procedure (T060)
SnomedCT 241648005
English MRI of lumbar spine (procedure), Magnetic resonance imaging of lumbar spine (procedure), MRI spinal lumbar, L-spine MRI, magnetic resonance imaging of lumbar spine, magnetic resonance imaging of lumbar spine (procedure), MRI of lumbar spine, MRI lumbar spine, lumbar spine MRI, Magnetic resonance imaging of lumbar spine, Magnetic resonance imaging of Spinal cord levels, lumbar
Spanish RM de columna vertebral lumbar, resonancia magn├ętica de columna vertebral lumbar (procedimiento), resonancia magn├ętica de columna vertebral lumbar