Comparison of Pathologic Findings of Lumbosacral MRI between Low Back Pain Patients and the Controls
Author(s): Elham Keshavarz, Zahra Dehghani, Kobra Mohammadi, Hamidreza Haghighatkhah, Farzaneh Shobeirian
Background: Low back pain is a highly common condition in general population. Different mechanisms and causes are considered to be responsible for development of this condition. There is a controversy regarding the usefulness of MRI in low back pain. We aimed in this study to compare MRI findings between healthy subjects and low back pain patients.
Methods: In this case-control study at Shohadaye-e-Tajrish hospital in 2015, we compared lumbosacral MRI findings of 284 patients with clinical history of low back pain and/or radiculopathy with 59 age- and sex- matched subjects without clinical history of LBP or radiculopathy. The controls were randomly selected from the staff of the hospital. MRI scans were thoroughly reviewed by the experts and the related data were recorded and analyzed.
Results: Our data show that there is a strong association between low back pain and fat infiltration in that muscle as in the case group, there was a 39.2% rate of fat infiltration while in the control group, this rate was only 8.5% (p-value=0.000). Our data reveal that various types of degeneration and stenosis in lumbar spine associate with low back pain. Although these symptoms and findings are also found in healthy subjects but the difference of rates between low back pain and control groups, is statistically significant.
Conclusion: Our findings confirm the claim that LBP is significantly associated with degenerative changes observed in lumbosacral MRI as well as fat infiltration in multifidus muscle.