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Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2001 Jul 1;26(13):E287-93.

In vivo changes in the neuroforaminal size at flexion-extension and axial rotation of the cervical spine in healthy persons examined using kinematic magnetic resonance imaging.

Author information

  • 1Department of RadiologyChristian-Albrechts-University KielArnold-Heller-Str. 924105 KielGermany. cmuhle@nuc-med.uni-kiel.de

Abstract

STUDY DESIGN:

In vivo flexion-extension and axial rotation magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies of the cervical spine were performed inside a positioning device.

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the functional changes of neuroforaminal size that occur during flexion-extension and axial rotation of the cervical spine in healthy persons.

SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA:

Kinematic MRI studies of the cervical spine were performed to obtain detailed information about the functional changes that occur in neuroforaminal size during flexion-extention and axial rotation. The results were compared with published data of in vitro functional flexion-extension and axial rotation studies of the cervical spine.

METHODS:

Inside a positioning device, the cervical spines of 30 healthy persons were examined in a whole-body magnetic resonance scanner from 40 degrees of flexion to 30 degrees of extension at nine different angle positions. In addition, axial rotation was performed at neutral position (0 degrees ) and at 20 degrees and 40 degrees of axial rotation to both sides. The images were analyzed with respect to the neuroforaminal size at each position using a reformatted 3D-FISP sequence.

RESULTS:

At flexion, widening of the neuroforaminal size of up to 31% (compared with neutral position, 0 degrees ) was observed. Conversely, at extension a decrease in the size of the neuroforamen of up to 20% was recognized. At 20 degrees and 40 degrees of ipsilateral rotation of the head, a reduction in the neuroforaminal size of up to 15% and 23%, respectively, compared with the neutral position was noted. In contrast, a widening of the foraminal size was recognized on the contralateral side of 9% and 20% at 20 degrees and 40 degrees rotation. Statistically significant differences (p <== 0.05) were found in the neuroforaminal size between different degrees of flexion and extension and in addition for axial rotation compared to neutral position (0 degrees ).

CONCLUSION:

Compared with the results of previous biomechanical studies of human cadaver cervical spines, kinematic MRI provides additional noninvasive data concerning the physiological changes of the neuroforaminal size during flexion-extension and axial rotation in healthy individuals.

PMID:
11458168
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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