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MR Neurography of Lumbosacral Plexus: Incremental Value Over XR, CT, and MRI of L Spine With Improved Outcomes in Patients With Radiculopathy and Failed Back Surgery Syndrome

J Magn Reson Imaging. 2022 Jun 14. doi: 10.1002/jmri.28296. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Lower back pain is often evaluated using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and conventional imaging, which provide incomplete information about the etiology of pain and lead to less than optimal management.

HYPOTHESIS: MR neurography (MRN) of the lumbosacral (LS) plexus renders a more accurate diagnosis, alters the management strategy, and clinical outcomes of radiculopathy or failed back surgery Syndrome (FBSS) patients when compared to the conventional imaging modalities.

STUDY TYPE: Retrospective, cross-sectional.

POPULATION: A total of 356 patients (mean age 65.8 ± 12.3; 48.9% female) from single university hospital over 6 years with MRN of LS plexus were included from a cohort of 14,775 total patients with lumbar spine MR imaging.

ASSESSMENT: Conventional imaging obtained before and after MRN of LS plexus was reevaluated and categorized into three levels based on extent of imaging findings’ correlation to presenting clinical symptoms (contributory levels). Clinical notes were reviewed for changes in ordering provider’s recommended management and subsequent patients’ symptom level pre-MRN to post-MRN.

FIELD STRENGTH/SEQUENCE: A 5 T and 3.0 T. T1-weighted (T1W), T2-weighted (T2W), short T1 inversion recovery (STIR), T1 turbo spin echo (T1 TSE), T2 spectral attenuated inversion recovery (T2 SPAIR).

STATISTICAL TESTS: Chi-squared test. Statistical significance was set at P < 0.05.

RESULTS: A total of 356 total patients (174 females) with mean age ± SD was 65.8 ± 12.3 years, 4.2% of patients imaged with lumbar spine MRI. Definitely contributory studies among X-rays, computed tomography, MRI, and MRN were 3 of the 129 (2.3%), 3 of the 48 (6.2%), 35 of the 184 (19.0%), and 283 of the 356 (79.8%), respectively. Pre-MRN vs. post-MRN led to change in recommendation in 219 of the 356 (61.5%) patients and 71 of the 99 (71.7%) patients had improved symptoms.

CONCLUSION: MRN of the LS plexus can provide more corroborative image findings for symptom correlation compared to other imaging modalities for accurate diagnosis, effects patient management and leads to positive clinical outcomes in a small subset of patients with radiculopathy or FBSS.


PMID:35700216 | DOI:10.1002/jmri.28296

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