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Eur J Radiol. 2015 Apr;84(4):690-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ejrad.2015.01.006. Epub 2015 Jan 17.

Diffusion tensor imaging with quantitative evaluation and fiber tractography of lumbar nerve roots in sciatica.

Author information

1
Department of Radiology, the First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing 210029, China.
2
Department of Radiology, the First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing 210029, China. Electronic address: njmu_wangdehang@126.com.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To quantitatively evaluate nerve roots by measuring fractional anisotropy (FA) values in healthy volunteers and sciatica patients, visualize nerve roots by tractography, and compare the diagnostic efficacy between conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and DTI.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Seventy-five sciatica patients and thirty-six healthy volunteers underwent MR imaging using DTI. FA values for L5-S1 lumbar nerve roots were calculated at three levels from DTI images. Tractography was performed on L3-S1 nerve roots. ROC analysis was performed for FA values.

RESULTS:

The lumbar nerve roots were visualized and FA values were calculated in all subjects. FA values decreased in compressed nerve roots and declined from proximal to distal along the compressed nerve tracts. Mean FA values were more sensitive and specific than MR imaging for differentiating compressed nerve roots, especially in the far lateral zone at distal nerves.

CONCLUSIONS:

DTI can quantitatively evaluate compressed nerve roots, and DTT enables visualization of abnormal nerve tracts, providing vivid anatomic information and localization of probable nerve compression. DTI has great potential utility for evaluating lumbar nerve compression in sciatica.

KEYWORDS:

Diffusion tensor imaging; Low back pain; Radiculopathy; Spinal nerve roots

PMID:
25631881
DOI:
10.1016/j.ejrad.2015.01.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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