Content » Vol 44, Issue 10

Original report

Physical examination, magnetic resonance image, and electrodiagnostic study in patients with lumbosacral disc herniation or spinal stenosis.

Jung Hwan Lee, Sang-Ho Lee
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Wooridul Spine Hospital, Seoul, South Korea. E-mail: shlee@wooridul.co.kr
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-1034

Abstract

Objective: To compare the clinical implications of electro-diagnostic study with those of magnetic resonance imaging in patients with lumbosacral intervertebral herniated disc or spinal stenosis.
Design: Retrospective study of clinical data.
Patients: Patients with lumbosacral intervertebral herniated disc or spinal stenosis, diagnosed by clinical assessment and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), were selected. A total of 753 patients (437 with lumbosacral intervertebral herniated disc and 316 with spinal stenosis) were included in the study.
Methods: Clinical data for electrodiagnostic study (EDX)and MRI were compared and the sensitivity and specificity of these studies were evaluated. Among all subjects, 267 had radiculopathy on EDX (EDX (+)) and 486 no radiculopathy (EDX(–)). Furthermore, 391 had root compression on MRI (MRI (+)) and 362 no root compression on MRI (MRI (–)).
Results: Patients with radioculopathy on EDX (+) showed a significantly higher visual analogue scale score for radiating pain and a higher Oswestry Disability Index than those with negative findings by EDX (–) in the total subjects group and the lumbosacral intervertebral herniated disc subgroup, and there was a trend toward higher Oswestry Disability Index in the spinal stenosis subgroup. Although patients with radioculopathy on root compression on MRI (+) also had a higher visual analogue scale for radiating pain than patients with negative findings by MRI (–) in the total subjects group and the lumbosacral intervertebral herniated disc subgroup, no significant difference was seen in the Oswestry Disability Index. EDX revealed a significant correlation with muscle weakness in the total subjects group and the lumbosacral intervertebral herniated disc subgroup, and trends toward muscle weakness in the spinal stenosis subgroup, whereas there was no such significant correlation for MRI findings in any group. Electrodiagnostic study had a higher specificity in terms of physical examination data than MRI, in spite of its lower sensitivity.
Conclusion: Electrodiagnostic study was significantly more correlated with clinical data, especially leg muscle weakness and functional status, and showed a higher specificity than MRI in patients with lumbosacral intervertebral herniated disc or spinal stenosis.

Lay Abstract

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