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J Korean Soc Med Ultrasound. 2001 Dec;20(4):343-347. Korean. Original Article.
Oh JC , Rhim HC , Jeong WK , Lee SR .
Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Sarang hospital, Korea.
Department of Diagnostic Radiology, College of Medicine, Hanyang University, Korea.

The aim of the investigation was to evaluate the diagnostic effectiveness of sonography in the evaluation of the lower lumbar intervertebral disc herniations. Prospective ultrasonographic examinations by transabdominal approach were performed on 65 consecutive pa-tients (32 males and 33 females) with clinically suspected lumbar disc herniation, and the findings were compared with MR findings. The transabdominal representation of lumbar disc herniations was successful in 64 cases at L3-4 level, 59 cases at L4-5 level and 55 cases at L5-S1 level. The sonographic examination was inconclusive in the some patients because of degenerative disc with vacuum phenomenon, osteophytosis and diminution of the intervertebral disc Both sensitivity and specificity of sonography were 100% at L3-4 level. At the same time, the sensitivity and specificity of sonography were 60% and 97% at L4-5 level and 36% and 100% at L5-S1 level. Although ultrasound is not currently used as a screening modality because of the low sensitivity, ultrasound shows a high specificity with non-invasiveness but without radiation hazard. Therefore, ultrasound can be used as an aid for diagnosing lumbar disc herniation, especially in young men without spondylosis.

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