Korean J Radiol.  2023 Mar;24(3):224-234. 10.3348/kjr.2022.0351.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging Grading Systems for Central Canal and Neural Foraminal Stenoses of the Lumbar and Cervical Spines With a Focus on the Lee Grading System

  • 1Department of Radiology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Department of Radiology, Seoul Metropolitan Government-Seoul National University Boramae Medical Center, Seoul, Korea
  • 3Department of Radiology, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a standard imaging modality for diagnosing spinal stenosis, which is a common degenerative disorder in the elderly population. Standardized interpretation of spinal MRI for diagnosing and grading the severity of spinal stenosis is necessary to ensure correct communication with clinicians and to conduct clinical research. In this review, we revisit the Lee grading system for central canal and neural foraminal stenosis of the cervical and lumbar spine, which are based on the pathophysiology and radiologic findings of spinal stenosis.


Spinal stenosis; Grading system; Central canal stenosis; Neural foraminal stenosis
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