European Radiology

, Volume 21, Issue 5, pp 1043–1049 | Cite as

MR-guided discography using an open 1 Tesla MRI system

  • Florian StreitparthEmail author
  • T. Hartwig
  • B. Schnackenburg
  • P. Strube
  • M. Putzier
  • S. Chopra
  • M. De Bucourt
  • B. Hamm
  • U. Teichgräber



To evaluate the feasibility of MR-guided discography using an open 1 Tesla MRI system.


48 disc segments of 41 patients scheduled for intradiscal thermal treatment, total disc replacement or spondylodesis were examined. A 1.0-T open MRI was used for instrument guidance and imaging. After primary disc puncture under guidance of interactive PDw TSE imaging, 1–2 ml of gadolinium contrast saline mixture was injected into the disc. The occurrence of memory pain during injection was recorded. Axial and sagittal T1w TSE images with and without fat saturation were obtained. All MRI discograms were analysed by two readers, who were blinded to the clinical findings.


Overall, the placement of the puncture needle in the targeted disc was accurate under real-time MR guidance. Injections were technically successful in all cases. No major complications occurred. The mean procedure time was 17 min (range 13–34 min). Image quality of contrast-enhanced MR discograms was excellent when using an optimized gadolinium contrast saline mixture of 1:600. Memory pain was detected in 16 out of 48 affected segments.


MR-guided discography is accurate and safe. Multiplanar dynamic imaging facilitates the puncture of discs and provides high-quality MR discograms.


Interventional MRI Open 1 Tesla Discography Discoblock Lumbar spine 



The authors would like to thank Heidi Kotalla, surgical nurse, and Andreas Thomas, MRI technician, for their collaboration and support.


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Copyright information

© European Society of Radiology 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Florian Streitparth
    • 1
    Email author
  • T. Hartwig
    • 2
  • B. Schnackenburg
    • 3
  • P. Strube
    • 2
  • M. Putzier
    • 2
  • S. Chopra
    • 4
  • M. De Bucourt
    • 1
  • B. Hamm
    • 1
  • U. Teichgräber
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of RadiologyCharité, Humboldt-University Medical SchoolBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Center for Musculoskeletal SurgeryCharité - University Medicine BerlinBerlinGermany
  3. 3.Philips Medical SystemsHamburgGermany
  4. 4.Department of General, Visceral, and Transplantation SurgeryCharité - University Medicine BerlinBerlinGermany

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