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Journal of Craniovertebral Junction and Spine
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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 12-15

Additional merit of coronal STIR imaging for MR imaging of lumbar spine

Department of Radiodiagnosis, Maharishi Markandeshwar Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Mullana, Ambala, Haryana, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Puneet Mittal
448, Prem Basti, Sangrur - 148 001, Punjab
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-8237.151582

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Introduction: Back pain is a common clinical problem and is the frequent complaint for referral of lumbar spine magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Coronal short tau inversion recovery sequence (STIR) can provide diagnostically significant information in small percentage of patients. Materials and Methods: MRI examinations of a total of 350 patients were retrospectively included in the study. MR sequences were evaluated in two settings. One radiologist evaluated sagittal and axial images only, while another radiologist evaluated all sequences, including coronal STIR sequence. After recording the diagnoses, we compared the MRI findings in two subsets of patients to evaluate additional merit of coronal STIR imaging. Results: With addition of coronal STIR imaging, significant findings were observed in 24 subjects (6.8%). Twenty-one of these subjects were considered to be normal on other sequences and in three subjects diagnosis was changed with the addition of coronal STIR. Additional diagnoses on STIR included sacroiliitis, sacroiliac joint degenerative disease, sacral stress/insufficiency fracture/Looser's zones, muscular sprain and atypical appendicitis. Conclusion: Coronal STIR imaging can provide additional diagnoses in a small percentage of patients presenting for lumbar spine MRI for back pain. Therefore, it should be included in the routine protocol for MR imaging of lumbar spine.

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