owen-quantitativeassessment-2021.pdf (1.09 MB)
Quantitative assessment of the lumbar intervertebral disc via T2 shows excellent long-term reliability
journal contributionposted on 2021-04-01, 00:00 authored by D L Belavy, Patrick Owen, G Armbrecht, M Bansmann, J Zange, Y Ling, R Pohle-Fröhlich, D Felsenberg
Methodologies for the quantitative assessment of the spine tissues, in particular the intervertebral disc (IVD), have not been well established in terms of long-term reliability. This is required for designing prospective studies. 1H water T2 in the IVD (“T2”) has attained wider use in assessment of the lumbar intervertebral discs via magnetic resonance imaging. The reliability of IVD T2 measurements are yet to be established. IVD T2 was assessed nine times at regular intervals over 368 days on six anatomical slices centred at the lumbar spine using a spin-echo multi-echo sequence in 12 men. To assess repeatability, intra-class correlation co-efficients (ICCs), standard error of the measurement, minimal detectable difference and co-efficients of variation (CVs) were calculated along with their 95% confidence intervals. Bland-Altman analysis was also performed. ICCs were above 0.93, with the exception of nuclear T2 at L5/S1, where the ICC was 0.88. CVs of the central-slice nucleus sub-region ranged from 4.3% (average of all levels) to 10.1% for L5/S1 and between 2.2% to 3.2% for whole IVD T2 (1.8% for the average of all levels). Averaging between vertebral levels improved reliability. Reliability of measurements was least at L5/S1. ICCs of degenerated IVDs were lower. Test-retest reliability was excellent for whole IVD and good to excellent for IVD subregions. The findings help to establish the long-term repeatability of lumbar IVD T2 for the implementation of prospective studies and determination of significant changes within individuals.