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Research Journal of Biological Sciences
Year: 2009  |  Volume: 4  |  Issue: 2  |  Page No.: 166 - 170

Pathological Findings of Spinal MRI in Patients with Lumbosacral Transitional Vertebra

Nasrin Ahmadinejad, Hossein Ghanaati, Kavous Firouznia, Aidin Khaghani, Alborz Salavati and Madjid Shakiba    

Abstract: Low back pain is one of the most common causes of disability for individuals of working age in developed countries. Along with vast traumatic, infectious, tumors and infiltrative causes, degenerative disk transformations have been accepted as major etiologic factors. Lumbosacral Transitional Vertebra (LSTV) is one of the congenital factors that might cause disk degeneration. The purpose of this research is to assess the type and frequency of pathological findings in adjacent vertebra in a group of Iranian patients with LSTV. Patients and methods: In a cross sectional study between April 2006 and September 2007, we evaluated all patients who indicated to do lumbosacral MRI because of low back pain. All patients had Lumbar X-ray. Among them, considering plain AP lumbar spine x-ray for all patients, 91 patients were determined to have LSTV (Castelvi grade 2-4) that were enrolled in the study. Among 91 patients with LSTV, 58 (63.7%) were females (p = 0.01). The LSTV type IIIb (28.6%) was the most common type. The frequency of anterior osteophyt reached to its peak in level L4-L5 (51.6%) (p<0.0001). Such a trend was seen in posterior osteophyt. The frequency of the facet hypertrophy in the level L4-L5 was 46.2% and in the level L5-S1 was 31.9% (p = 0.04). Moreover, the frequency of the flavum ligament hypertrophy in these levels were 38.5 and19.8%, respectively (p<0.0001). The mean severities of disk degeneration in levels L4-L5 and L5-S1 were 2.8±1.3 and 2.5±1.3, respectively (p = 0.022). The frequency of disk herniation in the level L4-L5 was 67% and in the level L5-S1 was 34.1% (p<0.0001). In addition, the mean severities of disk herniation in these levels are 1.3±1.0 and 0.6±1.0, respectively (p<0.0001). Finally, the mean value of the disk height in the level L4-L5 was 9.6±2.0 mm and in the level L5-S1 was 7.4±2.6 mm (p<0.0001). It seems that pathologies have been increased in the level above the LSTV in compare to the level below it.

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