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    MRI Lumbar Spine

    The basic principles of the MRI scan of the lumbar spine.

    MRI Lumbar Spine
    Radiology Expert
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    MRI Lumbar Spine - introduction

    An MRI scan of the lumbar spine is a widely conducted examination, primarily requested by neurologists/neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons. This module covers the essential aspects of this examination, offering practical information explained in plain language.
    Is MRI imaging of the spine still a great mystery to you? Read this module to get acquainted with the terminology, anatomy, and most common pathologies. Before delving into this module, studying the MRI Technique Module is advisable.

    This module consists of components of indication/technique, normal anatomy, a checklist, and pathology.


    • MRI sequences (T1, T2, STIR, Gadolinium)
    • Anatomy (osseous, intervertebral discs, ligamentous, spinal canal, nerve roots)
    • Discopathy
    • Spondylophytes
    • Facet osteoarthritis
    • Ligamentum flavum hypertrophy
    • Schmorl node
    • Modic type changes
    • Disc herniation
    • HNP: protrusion/extrusion/migration/sequestration
    • Central canal stenosis
    • Lateral recess stenosis
    • Foraminal stenosis
    • Bone metastases
    • Vertebral fractures
    • Spondylodiscitis
    Anatomy MRI lumbar spine Anatomy MRI lumbar spine
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    Learn everything about MRI Lumbar Spine

    Buy a single module for €2,50 or all modules for €25 per year.
    Literature: sources and author


    drs. A. van der Plas (MSK radiologist Maastricht UMC+)

    With special thanks to:
    dr. W. Henneman (neuroradiologist Maastricht UMC+)


    drs. A. van der Plas (MSK radiologist Maastricht UMC+)


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    • L. Bulloch, K. Thompson, L. Spector; Cauda Equina Syndrome. Orthop Clin North Am. (2022)

    • C. Colosimo et al; Contrast-enhanced MR imaging of the spine: When, why and how? How to optimize contrast protocols in MR imaging of the spine. Neuroradiology (2006)

    • M. Farshad et al; Spondylophyte classification based on biomechanical effects on segmental stiffness. Spine J (2022)
      T.S. Jensen et al.; Vertebral endplate signal changes (Modic change): a systematic literature review of prevalence and association with non-specific low back pain. Eur Spine J. (2008)

    • A. Pietrok; Schmorl’s Node: An Uncommon Case of Back Pain and Radiculopathy. Orthop Rev (Pavia). 2022

    • A.C Gellhorn, J.N Katz, P. Suri; Osteoarthritis of the spine: the facet joints. Nat Rev Rheumatol (2013)

    • D.F. Fardon et al; Lumbar disc nomenclature: version 2.0: Recommendations of the combined task forces of the North American Spine Society, the American Society of Spine Radiology and the American Society of Neuroradiology. Spine J (2014)

    • S. Boudabbous et al; Spinal disorders mimicking infection. Insights into Imaging (2021)

    • J. Lotz; The Role of the Vertebral End Plate in Low Back Pain. Global Spine Journal (2013)

    • J.S. Kim et.al; Clinical Significance of Redundant Nerve Roots of the Cauda Equina in Spine MRI. iMRI (2022)

    • L. Cottle, T. Riordan; Infectious spondylodiscitis. J Infec (2008) 

    • H.P. Ledermann et.al; MR imaging findings in spinal infections: rules or myths? Radiology (2003)



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