Cervical spine MRI has become one of the most reliable and useful tools to depict and rule out pathology in patients with neck and shoulder pain. The inclusion of coronal STIR sequences in routine scans could increase the diagnostic sensitivity enabling earlier diagnosis and hence decreasing the morbidity and mortality. The objective of this study is to evaluate additional benefit of a coronal STIR during routine MR of cervical spine.
Materials and Methods:
A retrospective review of 8224 MR scans performed in a year at two imaging diagnostic centres in India was carried out. There were 512 cervical spine MR scans, which were analysed to delineate additional findings solely identified on coronal STIR sequences. The routine protocol included axial and sagittal T1 and T2 sequences and coronal STIR images.
There were positive findings solely demonstrated on coronal STIR sequences in 32 cases. These include 16 cases of non-specific brachial plexopathy, 4 cases of lung malignancy, 7 cases of lymphadenopathies and 5 cases of tuberculosis of apical segments.
Due to its large field of view, fluid sensitivity and short acquisition time, coronal STIR sequences, could be very helpful in deciphering additional findings which otherwise would be missed. The inclusion of this sequence in routine scans could significantly increase the diagnostic capability that might change the patientís management in a significant proportion of cases, at low cost.
coronal, stir, cervical, spine