MRI identifies biochemical alterations of intervertebral discs in patients with low back pain and radiculopathy
• Molecular intervertebral disc damage was associated with LBP and radiculopathy.
• Patients with radiculopathy and LBP demonstrated a depletion of gagCEST values compared with healthy controls.
• GagCEST imaging may be a non-invasive tool for investigation of degeneration processes of lumbar intervertebral discs (IVDs). GagCEST imaging may be an imaging biomarker for biochemical IVD alterations.
Body mass index
Chemical exchange saturation transfer
Glycosaminoglycan chemical exchange saturation transfer
Lower back pain
Magnetic resonance imaging
Region of interest
Asymmetric spin-lock ratio
Visual analogue scale
Water Saturation and B1
World Health Organization
We would like to thank Erika Rädisch for the assistance in receiving the MRI scans.
The authors state that this work has not received any funding.
Compliance with ethical standards
The scientific guarantor of this publication is C. Schleich.
Conflict of interest
The authors of this manuscript declare no relationships with any companies, whose products or services may be related to the subject matter of the article.
Statistics and biometry
Joachim Gerß (Institute of Biostatistics and Clinical Research, University of Muenster, Muenster, Germany) kindly provided statistical advice for this manuscript.
Written informed consent was obtained from all subjects (patients) in this study.
Institutional Review Board approval was obtained.
• diagnostic or prognostic study
• performed at one institution
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