Value of findings of diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging in patients with lumbar disc degeneration
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Objectives: To determine the value of diffusion-weight MRI findings in patients with lumbar disc degeneration. Methodology: Lumbar discs of 52 consecutive patients were imaged at 1.5 T MR including T2 and diffusion weighted imaging. Apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values, T2 signal intensity and height of the five lumbar intervertebral discs were measured and disc and endplate degenerations were graded. Results: The mean ADC was 0.90x10H(3) mm(2)/s +/- 0.27 (+/- S.D.) and the mean T2 was 93.98 +/- 32.32. There was significant correlation between mean diffusion and the T2 signal intensity values of all lumbar discs. The age of the cases was negatively correlated with the T2 signal intensities and ADC values and positively correlated with the disc height of from L1-L2 to L5-S1. There was no significant correlation between the disc height of from L1-L2 to L5-S1 and the measured ADC values and the T2 signal intensities. Conclusions: Evaluation of lumbar disc degeneration with diffusion weight MR I can be a useful procedure in the clinical practice for patients with several lumbar symptoms. There is need for the improvement of image quality of diffusion weighted MRI imaging for more precise diagnosis of the lumbar diseases.