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Spine J. 2011 May;11(5):402-11. doi: 10.1016/j.spinee.2011.03.019.

Modic changes and associated features in Southern European chronic low back pain patients.

Author information

1
Servicio de Radiología, Fundación Instituto Valenciano de Oncología, C/ Beltrán Báguena 19, Valencia, Spain. aranae@uv.es

Abstract

BACKGROUND CONTEXT:

Conflicting reports exist regarding the prevalence of Modic changes among low back pain (LBP) patients and factors associated with their existence.

PURPOSE:

To assess the prevalence of Modic changes and other findings on lumbar magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) among Spanish adult chronic LBP patients and the patient characteristics and radiological findings associated with Modic changes.

STUDY DESIGN:

A cross-sectional imaging study among chronic LBP patients.

PATIENT SAMPLE:

Four hundred eighty-seven patients (263 women and 224 men) undergoing lumbar spine MRI examination for chronic LBP.

OUTCOME MEASURES:

Gender, age, body mass index (BMI), lifetime smoking exposure, degree of physical activity, and image features (disc degeneration, type and extension of Modic changes, disc contour, annular tears, spinal stenosis, and spondylolisthesis).

METHODS:

Ten radiologists from six hospitals across six cities in Spain consecutively recruited adult patients in whom lumbar MRI had been prescribed for LBP lasting ≥3 months. Patients' characteristics and imaging findings were assessed through previously validated instruments. A multivariate logistic regression model was developed to assess the features associated with Modic changes.

RESULTS:

Modic changes were found in 81% of the patients. The most common was Type II (51.3%), affecting only the end plate. Variables associated with Type I changes were disc contour abnormalities, spondylolisthesis, and disc degeneration. The same variables were associated with a higher risk of Type II or any type of Modic changes, as well as being male, and having a higher BMI.

CONCLUSIONS:

Modic changes are found in 81% (95% confidence interval, 77-85) of adult Spanish patients in whom an MRI is prescribed for chronic LBP. Modic changes are more likely to be found in males with a high BMI, who also show disc contour abnormalities, spondylolisthesis, or disc degeneration.

PMID:
21558034
DOI:
10.1016/j.spinee.2011.03.019
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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