Low- vs. high-field MRI: 5 key notes on spine diagnosis

Written by Laura Dyrda | March 17, 2015 | Print  |

Is a low-field MRI or high-field MRI better for diagnosing degenerative diseases of the lumbar spine?

A new study published in Spine compares the two. There were 100 patients participating in the study with either neurogenic claudication or sciatica. The patients underwent MRI on both low- and high-field systems.


Two radiologists evaluated both low- and high-field systems. The researchers found:


1. The radiologist reported "excellent agreement" between both low- and high-field MRI when grading:


• Disc herniation presence and severity
• Central canal stenosis
• Lateral recess stenosis
• Exit foramen stenosis


2. There were 52 percent of the patients who reported descending or exiting nerve root compression at these levels:


• L3-L4
• L4-L5
• L5-S1


3. The radiologists also had good agreement between both low- and high-field MRI for the nerve root compression reporting.


4. The 0.25T MRI was more susceptible to motion artifact, likely because there is a longer scanning time.


5. The researchers concluded "excellent reliability between low- and high-field MRI was found for most features of lumbar disc degeneration with good agreement for nerve root compression."


More articles on spine surgery:
5 key notes on readmission after spine surgery
Dr. Beejal Amin talks MIS spine procedures
Dr. Craig Humphreys plans nonprofit organization for care in Kenya

© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2019. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies here.

Top 40 Articles from the Past 6 Months