, Volume 32, Issue 4, pp 205-210
Date: 30 Jan 2014

Spinal imaging features in Japanese patients with Marfan syndrome: a case-control study

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The purpose of our study was to evaluate the morphology of the lumbosacral spine, i.e. the dura and vertebral body shape, of Japanese patients with Marfan syndrome (MFS) by comparing it with sex- and age-matched controls.

Materials and methods

Spinal MR or CT images of 32 MFS patients and 32 controls were retrospectively reviewed. The anteroposterior dural sac diameter (DSD), anteroposterior vertebral body diameter (VBD), and vertebral body height (VBH) were measured from L1 to S1 levels and the dural sac ratio [DSR = (DSD/VBD)] and vertebral body aspect ratio [VAR = (VBH/VBD)] were calculated.


At each level, mean DSD and DSR were significantly higher in MFS patients; VBD was not. The cutoff values for DSR to differentiate between MFS patients and the controls were 0.59, 0.46, 0.42, 0.45, 0.47, and 0.47 from the level of L1 to S1. At a sensitivity of 93.8 % and a specificity of 84.4 % the cutoff value at S1 was most diagnostic. In MFS patients VAR was significantly higher at L3 and L4.


Our cutoff value for DSR >0.47 at S1 may help to identify MFS in the Japanese population. A square-like appearance of the L3 and L4 vertebral bodies is a supplementary finding in MFS patients.