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AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1984 Jul;143(1):169-76.

Evaluation of multiplanar reconstruction in CT recognition of lumbar disk disease.


Axial computed tomographic (CT) images were compared with sagittal and coronal reformations and myelograms in 60 patients to evaluate the diagnostic usefulness of multiplanar reconstructions for the recognition of lumbar disk disease. The axial CT scans were most sensitive and specific. The sagittal scans were helpful in evaluating the neural foramina, the size of the disk bulge into the spinal canal, especially at L5-S1, and patients with spondylolisthesis. The coronal images were the least informative, although they contributed to the evaluation of lumbar nerve roots. The myelograms and the sagittal images were equally useful in the detection of herniated disk, but axial scans were superior to either. It was concluded that reformatted sagittal and coronal images are not required if all axial images are normal. However, when uncertainty exists or complex anatomy is being evaluated, reformatted images may be helpful, particularly for reassurance.

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