The relationship between quantitative measures of disc height and disc signal intensity with Pfirrmann score of disc degeneration

Sara Salamat, John Hutchings, Clemens Kwong, John Magnussen, Mark J. Hancock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: To assess the relationship between quantitative measures of disc height and signal intensity with the Pfirrmann disc degeneration scoring system and to test the inter-rater reliability of the quantitative measures. Methods: Participants were 76 people who had recently recovered from their last episode of acute low back pain and underwent MRI scan on a single 3T machine. At all 380 lumbar discs, quantitative measures of disc height and signal intensity were made by 2 independent raters and compared to Pfirrmann scores from a single radiologist. For quantitative measures of disc height and signal intensity a “raw” score and 2 adjusted ratios were calculated and the relationship with Pfirrmann scores was assessed. The inter-tester reliability of quantitative measures was also investigated. Results: There was a strong linear relationship between quantitative disc signal intensity and Pfirrmann scores for grades 1–4, but not for grades 4 and 5. For disc height only, Pfirrmann grade 5 had significantly reduced disc height compared to all other grades. Results were similar regardless of whether raw or adjusted scores were used. Inter-rater reliability for the quantitative measures was excellent (ICC > 0.97). Conclusions: Quantitative measures of disc signal intensity were strongly related to Pfirrmann scores from grade 1 to 4; however disc height only differentiated between grade 4 and 5 Pfirrmann scores. Using adjusted ratios for quantitative measures of disc height or signal intensity did not significantly alter the relationship with Pfirrmann scores.

LanguageEnglish
Article number829
Pages1-7
Number of pages7
JournalSpringerPlus
Volume5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016

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Intervertebral Disc Degeneration
Low Back Pain
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Radiologists

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2016. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

Cite this

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abstract = "Purpose: To assess the relationship between quantitative measures of disc height and signal intensity with the Pfirrmann disc degeneration scoring system and to test the inter-rater reliability of the quantitative measures. Methods: Participants were 76 people who had recently recovered from their last episode of acute low back pain and underwent MRI scan on a single 3T machine. At all 380 lumbar discs, quantitative measures of disc height and signal intensity were made by 2 independent raters and compared to Pfirrmann scores from a single radiologist. For quantitative measures of disc height and signal intensity a “raw” score and 2 adjusted ratios were calculated and the relationship with Pfirrmann scores was assessed. The inter-tester reliability of quantitative measures was also investigated. Results: There was a strong linear relationship between quantitative disc signal intensity and Pfirrmann scores for grades 1–4, but not for grades 4 and 5. For disc height only, Pfirrmann grade 5 had significantly reduced disc height compared to all other grades. Results were similar regardless of whether raw or adjusted scores were used. Inter-rater reliability for the quantitative measures was excellent (ICC > 0.97). Conclusions: Quantitative measures of disc signal intensity were strongly related to Pfirrmann scores from grade 1 to 4; however disc height only differentiated between grade 4 and 5 Pfirrmann scores. Using adjusted ratios for quantitative measures of disc height or signal intensity did not significantly alter the relationship with Pfirrmann scores.",
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The relationship between quantitative measures of disc height and disc signal intensity with Pfirrmann score of disc degeneration. / Salamat, Sara; Hutchings, John; Kwong, Clemens; Magnussen, John; Hancock, Mark J.

In: SpringerPlus, Vol. 5, 829, 01.12.2016, p. 1-7.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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