Quantitative Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Experimentally Injured Porcine Intervertebral Disc

Niinimäki, J.; Ruohonen, J.; Silfverhuth, M.; Lappalainen, A.; Kääpä, E.; Tervonen, O.
August 2007
Acta Radiologica;Aug2007, Vol. 48 Issue 6, p643
Academic Journal
Background: Changes in T2 relaxation time (T2-TR) and apparent diffusion coefficients (ADC) have been suggested to appear in the intervertebral disc before morphological changes. Such sensitive imaging methods could be beneficial in the targeting and follow-up of intradiscal gene therapy. Purpose: To investigate the sensitivity of quantitative magnetic resonance (MR) imaging methods (T2-TR and ADC) in early disc degeneration, using an experimental porcine intervertebral disc injury model, and to investigate their sensitivity in depicting biochemically controlled degenerative changes in the disc. Material and Methods: Six juvenile pigs underwent experimental annular stab incisions, one superficial and one reaching the nucleus pulposus. The animals underwent repeated 1.5T MR imaging and were sacrificed 4 or 8 weeks after operation. Presence of degenerative changes was controlled with biochemical analysis. Results: Discs with full-thickness annular incisions lost 30% of their sagittal mid-slice nucleus pulposus area in 2 weeks (P<0.05). T2-TRs of the respective discs were on average 73% of the control discs (P<0.05). Discs with full-thickness annular lesions showed increased ADC values 4 weeks and reduced ADC values 8 weeks after the operation, compared to control discs (P<0.05). Biochemical analysis showed changes consistent with early degeneration. Conclusion: Early traumatic or degenerative changes are detectable with both T2-TR and ADC. The ADC in the early phase after experimental trauma seems to initially increase before decreasing.


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