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Bone Joint J. 2016 Mar;98-B(3):387-94. doi: 10.1302/0301-620X.98B3.36036.

Diffusion tensor imaging of radiculopathy in patients with lumbar disc herniation: preliminary results.

Author information

1
Shimoshizu National Hospital, 934-5, Shikawatashi, Yotsukaido, Chiba, 284-0003, Japan.
2
Chiba Children's Hospital, 579-1 Heta-Chou, Midori-ku, Chiba, 266-0007, Japan.
3
Chiba University, 1-8-1 Inohana, Chuo-ku, Chiba, 260-8670, Japan.
4
Eastern Chiba Medical Center, 3-6-2, Okayamadai, Togane, Chiba, 283-8686, Japan.

Abstract

AIMS:

The aim of this study was to evaluate the time course of changes in parameters of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) such as fractional anisotropy (FA) and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) in patients with symptomatic lumbar disc herniation. We also investigated the correlation between the severity of neurological symptoms and these parameters.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

A total of 13 patients with unilateral radiculopathy due to herniation of a lumbar disc were investigated with DTI on a 1.5T MR scanner and underwent micro discectomy. There were nine men and four women, with a median age of 55.5 years (19 to 79). The changes in the mean FA and ADC values and the correlation between these changes and the severity of the neurological symptoms were investigated before and at six months after surgery.

RESULTS:

The mean FA values were significantly lower (p = 0.0005) and mean ADC values were significantly higher (p = 0.0115) in compressed nerves than in intact nerves. Although the FA values increased significantly at six months after surgical treatment (p = 0.020), the ADC values decreased but not significantly (p = 0.498). There were strong correlations between the DTI parameters such as the FA value and the severity of the neurological symptoms as assessed using the Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) score and the Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire (RDQ).

CONCLUSION:

This preliminary study suggests that it may be possible to use DTI to diagnose, quantitatively evaluate and follow-up patients with lumbar nerve entrapment.

TAKE HOME MESSAGE:

DTI is a potential tool for functional diagnosis of lumbar nerve damage.

KEYWORDS:

apparent diffusion coefficient; diffusion tensor imaging; fractional anisotropy; lumbar disc herniation; radiculopathy

PMID:
26920965
DOI:
10.1302/0301-620X.98B3.36036
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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