European Spine Journal

, Volume 23, Issue 9, pp 1892–1895 | Cite as

Analysis of MRI signal changes in the adjacent pedicle of adolescent patients with fresh lumbar spondylolysis

  • Yuichiro Goda
  • Toshinori Sakai
  • Tadanori Sakamaki
  • Yoichiro Takata
  • Kosaku Higashino
  • Koichi SairyoEmail author
Original Article



The purpose of this study is to investigate a discrepancy between MRI and computed tomography (CT) findings in the spinal level distribution of spondylolysis. Recent advances in MRI have led to the early diagnosis of spondylolysis. Therefore, bony healing can be expected before the condition has a chance to worsen. In this study, we used MRI to examine the changes in spinal level signals in the pedicles adjacent to the pars interarticularis in adolescents with fresh lumbar spondylolysis. We then compared spinal level distribution of spondylolysis with that of previous results obtained by multidetector CT.


The study included 98 adolescent patients (31 women and 67 men; mean age, 13.6 years; age range, 9–18 years) with fresh lumbar spondylolysis who showed MRI signal changes in the adjacent pedicle. An MRI signal change was defined as a high signal change on fat-suppressed imaging.


MRI signal changes were detected in 150 adjacent pedicles of 101 vertebrae. Of these vertebrae, MRI signal changes in only 67 (66.3 %) corresponded to L5, while changes in 34 (33.7 %) corresponded to L3 or L4. In our follow-up study, the bone-healing rate with no vertebral defect was 100 % at L3, 97.1 % at L4, and 84.4 % at L5. In addition, 11 of 34 (32.4 %) vertebrae with signal changes at L3 or L4 occurred with L5 terminal-stage spondylolysis (no MRI signal change).


MRI revealed a higher prevalence of L3 or L4 spondylolysis than observed with CT.


Spondylolysis MRI Lumbar spine High signal changes 


Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuichiro Goda
    • 1
  • Toshinori Sakai
    • 1
  • Tadanori Sakamaki
    • 2
  • Yoichiro Takata
    • 1
  • Kosaku Higashino
    • 1
  • Koichi Sairyo
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Orthopedics, Institute of Health BiosciencesThe University of Tokushima Graduate SchoolTokushimaJapan
  2. 2.Sakamaki SeikeigekaAwaJapan

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