3-D MRI/CT fusion imaging of the lumbar spine
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The objective was to demonstrate the feasibility of MRI/CT fusion in demonstrating lumbar nerve root compromise.
Materials and methods
We combined 3-dimensional (3-D) computed tomography (CT) imaging of bone with 3-D magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of neural architecture (cauda equina and nerve roots) for two patients using VirtualPlace software.
Although the pathological condition of nerve roots could not be assessed using MRI, myelography or CT myelography, 3-D MRI/CT fusion imaging enabled unambiguous, 3-D confirmation of the pathological state and courses of nerve roots, both inside and outside the foraminal arch, as well as thickening of the ligamentum flavum and the locations, forms and numbers of dorsal root ganglia. Positional relationships between intervertebral discs or bony spurs and nerve roots could also be depicted.
Use of 3-D MRI/CT fusion imaging for the lumbar vertebral region successfully revealed the relationship between bone construction (bones, intervertebral joints, and intervertebral disks) and neural architecture (cauda equina and nerve roots) on a single film, three-dimensionally and in color. Such images may be useful in elucidating complex neurological conditions such as degenerative lumbar scoliosis(DLS), as well as in diagnosis and the planning of minimally invasive surgery.
Keywords3-D MRI/CT fusion imaging Degenerative lumbar scoliosis Nerve roots
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