Diagnostic Tools and Imaging Methods in Intervertebral Disk Degeneration

ArticleinOrthopedic Clinics of North America 42(4):501-11, viii · October 2011with12 Reads
Impact Factor: 1.25 · DOI: 10.1016/j.ocl.2011.07.007 · Source: PubMed


    Low back pain has a negative impact on the economy and society. Intervertebral disk degeneration is linked to the occurrence of low back pain. MRI provides three-dimensional morphologic and biochemical information regarding the status of the disk. This article reviews new and evolving MRI disk-imaging techniques, including grading, relaxation-time measurements, diffusion, and contrast perfusion. In addition, high-resolution magic-angle spinning methods to correlate in vitro disk degeneration (with pain, etc) and in vivo spectroscopic results are discussed. With the potential for morphologic and biochemical characterization of the intervertebral disk, MRI shows promise as a tool to quantitatively assess disk health.