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J Comput Assist Tomogr. 1987 Nov-Dec;11(6):955-62.

Postoperative cervical spine: MR assessment.

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Department of Radiology, University Hospitals of Cleveland, Case Western Reserve University, OH 44106.


The purpose of this article is to describe the variety of magnetic resonance (MR) findings in the cervical spine following anterior diskectomy and fusion (ADF), corpectomy, and postoperative complications. Toward that end, we retrospectively reviewed MR in 73 postoperative cervical spine patients and correlated the MR with their initial operative reports. Patients imaged within 1 month of ADF showed bone grafts as discrete rectangular areas of altered signal intensity within the central portions of the disk spaces. A spectrum of graft and vertebral body signal changes are seen up to 2 years following ADF. Patients studied greater than 2 years following ADF generally showed solid bony fusions without evidence of the graft or the original disk space. Bony canal stenosis at the operative site (19 of 73 cases) and disk herniations above or below the fusion sites (21 of 73 cases) were the most common postoperative findings. Hypertrophic bone was visualized as anterior extradural defect that was isointense (nine cases), hyperintense (four cases), or hypointense (eight cases) to the vertebral body on T1-weighted images. Disk herniations were evenly distributed above and below the fusion levels.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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