J Korean Med Sci.  2021 Feb;36(7):e48. 10.3346/jkms.2021.36.e48.

Coexisting Spine Lesions on Whole Spine T2 Sagittal MRI in Evaluating Spinal Degenerative Disease

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Seoul National University College of Medicine, SMG-SNU Boramae Medical Center, Seoul, Korea

Abstract

Background
Studies have reported on the usefulness of whole spine magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in evaluating specific diseases such as spinal tuberculosis, spinal trauma, spondyloarthropathies, and multiple myeloma. In studies concerning degenerative spinal disease, sample sizes were small and some did not provide information on how symptomatic coexisting lesions were treated. We evaluated the types and prevalence of coexisting spine lesions found on whole spine T2 sagittal screening performed at the time of routine cervical and lumbar spine MRI and evaluated the efficacy of such screening in degenerative diseases of the cervical and lumbar spine.
Methods
We reviewed 1,757 and 2,266 consecutive cases where whole spine T2 sagittal screening had been performed with routine cervical and lumbar spine MRI, respectively, in patients with cervical and lumbar spinal degenerative diseases. Coexisting spine lesions were documented and statistical analysis was performed to investigate significant differences according to sex, age, and initial diagnosis. Electronic medical records were reviewed to determine whether additional interventions were necessary following such findings.
Results
We reviewed 1,252 and 1,689 consecutive cases of routine cervical and lumbar spine MRI respectively, with whole spine T2 sagittal screening. Of the 1,252, 419 (33.5%) patients with cervical spinal degenerative disease had coexisting lesions in the thoracolumbar spine. Patients with ligament ossification disease of the cervical spine showed a higher prevalence of coexisting spine lesions. Sixty of the 419 (14.3%) patients with coexisting spine lesions warranted additional intervention or surgical treatment. Four hundred and eighty-one of 1,689 (28.5%) patients with lumbar degenerative disease had coexisting spine lesions in the cervicothoracic spine. Forty-eight of the 481 (10.0%) patients with coexisting spine lesions warranted additional intervention. In both patient groups, older patients showed a significantly higher prevalence of coexisting spine lesions than younger patients.
Conclusion
Considering the minimal extra time and cost in performing whole spine screening, its application to routine spine MRI can be considered in evaluating cervical and lumbar spinal degenerative diseases.

Keyword

Coexisting Spine Lesion; Whole Spine MRI; Spinal Degenerative Disease
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