CT-Myelogram Still Useful in Diagnosing Spinal Disorders

Procedure may be superior to MRI in diagnosing foraminal stenosis and bony lesion

MONDAY, June 29 (HealthDay News) -- Although MRI has become the standard tool for assessing patients with degenerative cervical spinal disorders, postmyelographic computed tomography (CTM) can still provide useful diagnostic information, according to a study published in the July issue of the Journal of Spinal Disorders & Techniques.

Kyung-Jin Song, M.D., of Chonbuk National University in Jeonju, Korea, and colleagues compared the accuracy of MRI and CTM by assessing the degree of interobserver and intraobserver agreement of three observers who conducted a radiographic review of 50 patients who had undergone the anterior cervical discectomy and fusion procedure.

The researchers found that there was no significant difference in intraobserver and interobserver agreement between MRI and CTM (0.58 and 0.57, respectively). They also found that disc abnormality and nerve root compression showed better agreement on MRI, while foraminal stenosis and bony lesion showed better agreement on CTM.

"CTM was still useful in diagnosis of the foraminal stenosis and bony lesion comparing with MRI but showed limitation in disc abnormality and nerve root compression," the authors conclude. "So even though CTM may provide valuable additional information in difficult or ambiguous cases, it also requires universal standards and sound experience for constant and objective information."

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