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    ABSTRACT: The CTF nomenclature had not been tested in clinical practice. The purpose of this study was to compare the reliability and diagnostic confidence in the interpretation of disk contours on lumbar 1.5T MR imaging when using the CTF and the Nordic nomenclatures. Five general radiologists from 3 hospitals blindly and independently assessed intravertebral herniations (Schmorl node) and disk contours on the lumbar MR imaging of 53 patients with low back pain, on 4 occasions. Measures were taken to minimize the risk of recall bias. The Nordic nomenclature was used for the first 2 assessments, and the CTF nomenclature, in the remaining 2. Radiologists had not previously used either of the 2 nomenclatures. κ statistics were calculated separately for reports deriving from each nomenclature and were categorized as almost perfect (0.81-1.00), substantial (0.61-0.80), moderate (0.41-0.60), fair (0.21-0.40), slight (0.00-0.20), and poor (<0.00). Categorization of intra- and interobserver agreement was the same across nomenclatures. Intraobserver reliability was substantial for intravertebral herniations and disk contour abnormalities. Interobserver reliability was moderate for intravertebral herniations and fair to moderate for disk contour. In conditions close to clinical practice, regardless of the specific nomenclature used, a standardized nomenclature supports only moderate interobserver agreement. The Nordic nomenclature increases self-confidence in an individual observer's report but is less clear regarding the classification of disks as normal versus bulged.
    American Journal of Neuroradiology 06/2011; 32(6):1143-8. · 3.17 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Neurogenic claudication is diagnosed from a classical history and complementary spinal imaging. The abnormal signs may be few. It should be distinguished from intermittent claudication (peripheral vascular disease), referred pain from the back or root pain that is aggravated by walking, and psychological distress. Pathologically, a developmentally small canal is usually affected by multiple levels of segmental degenerative change, with venous pooling in the cauda equina between two levels of low pressure stenosis. There is probably then a failure of arterial vasodilatation of the congested roots in response to exercise, with symptoms in the legs when walking. Once established, symptoms tend neither to improve nor deteriorate. Conservative management is reasonable. Otherwise decompression at the most significant stenotic level is probably adequate to obtain a good surgical result.
    Spine 10/1996; 21(17):2046-52. · 2.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Longitudinal masked, double-controlled cohort study. To determine prognosis and predictors of function and pain in persons with spinal stenosis. The clinical syndrome of spinal stenosis is common and disabling, but not clearly related to anatomic measures. Prognosis not well studied. Persons 55 to 80 years of age with and without stenosis on preliminary review of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and asymptomatic volunteers underwent screening, questionnaires, physical examination, ambulation testing, masked electromyogram (EMG), and masked MRI scans; these were repeated at >18 months. Twenty-three asymptomatic, 28 back pain, and 32 clinically diagnosed stenosis subjects underwent follow-up. Although initial and follow-up diagnosis tended to agree (kappa = 0.394, P < 001), there were substantial shifts between the three groups. Among persons with clinically diagnosed stenosis, every measure trended for improvement, including significant changes in pain, ambulation, and EMG. Ambulation velocity and Pain Disability Index at follow-up were predicted by initial disability measures. Pain was predicted by initial sleep difficulty but not initial pain. EMG and MRI did not predict function or pain. Clinically recognized spinal stenosis is fluctuating and largely improving, and in continuum with back pain and no symptoms. Since anatomic and neurologic deficits do not predict future function, they should not be weighed heavily in surgical risk-benefit discussions.
    Spine 12/2006; 31(25):2950-7. · 2.16 Impact Factor

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