Kinetic magnetic resonance imaging analysis of spinal degeneration: a systematic review

  • Lao L
  • Zhong G
  • Li Q
 et al. 
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OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the clinical use of kinetic magnetic resonance imaging (kMRI) in spinal degenerative diseases. METHODS: A systematic search of PubMed, EMBASE and ISI databases for articles that had been published between January 1978 and February 2013 concerning patients who had undergone kMRI for spinal problems was performed. All selected patients had undergone kMRI in neutral, flexion, and extension weight-bearing positions. Evaluation of cervical and lumbar degeneration by kMRI was analyzed. kMRI showed significant reduction of mobility in cervical segments of patients with severe disc degeneration; in addition, it was more severely reduced in patients with severe cord compression than in those without it. In the cervical spine, it was found that although disc height, translational motion, and angular variation were significantly affected at the level of disc herniation, no significant changes were apparent in adjacent segments. kMRI also showed that lumbar degeneration is closely associated with disc degeneration, facet joint osteoarthritis and the pathological characteristics of the interspinous ligaments, ligamentum flavum and paraspinal muscles. RESULTS: Eleven articles (4162 patients) fulfilled the inclusion criteria and were reviewed. It was found that kMRI is more specific and sensitive than conventional MRI regarding relating patients' symptoms to objective findings on imaging that demonstrate pathology and biomechanics. In the kinetic position, kMRI improves detection of disc herniation by 5.78%-19.46% and thus provides a new means of studying the biomechanical mechanism(s) in degenerative spines. CONCLUSION: Kinetic MRI is effective for diagnosing, evaluating, and managing degenerative disease within the spine; however, it still has some limitations.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Cervical degeneration
  • Kinetic magnetic resonance imaging
  • Lumbar degeneration
  • Spinal degeneration

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  • Li feng Lao

  • Gui bin Zhong

  • Qian yi Li

  • Zu de Liu

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