Sonoelastographic evaluation of the sciatic nerve in patients with unilateral lumbar disc herniation
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The aim of this study was to compare strain elastography (SE) and shear wave elastography (SWE) findings of the sciatic nerve in patients with unilateral lumbar disc herniation (LDH) and healthy control subjects.
Materials and methods
The study group included patients with complaints of unilateral sciatica for 3–12 months, with foraminal stenosis due to one level of LDH (L4-L5 or L5-S1). An age- and gender-matched control group was formed of healthy subjects. Evaluations were performed on both the axial and longitudinal planes from the bilateral gluteal region using a 5–9 MHz multifrequency convex probe.
There were 40 patients (20 male, 20 female) with a mean age of 43.1 ± 12.7 years in the study group, and 40 healthy subjects (22 male, 18 female) with a mean age of 42.9 ± 10.7 years in the control group (p > 0.05). The sciatic nerve stiffness assessed on both the axial (12.3 ± 3.7 kPA) and longitudinal (14.3 ± 3.8 kPA) planes of the involved side was significantly higher than non-involved side (axial: 6.8 ± 2.1 and longitudinal: 8.3 ± 2.3 kPA) in the patient group (p < 0.001).
Patients with unilateral LDH have increased stiffness of the sciatic nerve compared to healthy control subjects. Although the findings in this preliminary study show that shear wave elastography can detect a change in sciatic nerve stiffness in patients with unilateral LDH, larger studies are required to determine the clinical utility of this technique.
KeywordsSciatic nerve Ultrasound Peripheral nerve Strain elastography Shear wave elastography Low back pain
There is no funding source for this manuscript.
Compliance with ethical standards
Local Ethics Committee of Kırıkkale University Medical School (Date 24.02.2017 and No: 03/02). Informed consent was obtained from all the participants.
Conflict of interest
Author Umut Orkun Çelebi declares that he has no conflict of interest.
Author Veysel Burulday declares that he has no conflict of interest.
Author Mehmet Faik Özveren declares that he has no conflict of interest.
Author Adil Doğan declares that he has no conflict of interest.
Author Mehmet Hüseyin Akgül declares that he has no conflict of interest.
There are no financial disclosures of the authors.
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