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AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1985 Jun;144(6):1123-9.

High-resolution surface-coil imaging of lumbar disk disease.


Seventeen patients with lumbar disk disease were studied using a prototype magnetic resonance (MR) surface coil. The high signal-to-noise ratio achieved with the surface coil permitted increases in spatial resolution to 0.9 X 0.9 mm in-plane resolution with 5 mm slice thickness. The surface coil was also compatible with multiplanar, multiecho imaging techniques. The spatial resolution achieved in this study was nearly equivalent to that achieved by state-of-the-art computed tomographic (CT) scanners, and MR showed a superior range of soft-tissue contrast. One significant limitation of MR was its inability to demonstrate small calcifications. Nevertheless, MR imaging provided diagnostic information comparable to CT or myelography in a completely noninvasive manner. With further technical advances, MR is likely to become the initial procedure of choice for evaluating patients with suspected lumbar disk disease.

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