Lumbar Intervertebral Disc Degeneration as a Common Incidental Finding in Young Pregnant Women as Observed on Prenatal Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

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Summary of "Lumbar Intervertebral Disc Degeneration as a Common Incidental Finding in Young Pregnant Women as Observed on Prenatal Magnetic Resonance Imaging."

Obstetric imaging, subserving fetal evaluation, may yield incidental maternal findings. Based on prenatal magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, this study aims to investigate incidental intervertebral disc degeneration and displacement in young, pregnant women. This retrospective study included the sagittal 1.5 Tesla, T2-weighted lumbar spine images of 943 pregnant Central Europeans (age range, 18-47 years), who initially had undergone MR imaging because of sonographically suspected fetal abnormalities. Qualitatively, 4715 lumbar intervertebral discs were evaluated for degeneration using a modified Pfirrmann MR classification (nondegenerated, low-grade, moderate, and high-grade degeneration), as well as for displacement. In addition to descriptive statistics, an ordinal regression analysis was performed to analyze the relationship between degeneration and the women's age, and body weight. With regard to the highest degree of degeneration in each woman, 578 (61.3%) showed low-grade, 211 (22.4%) moderate, and 154 (16.3%) high-grade degeneration, and no woman had entirely nondegenerated discs. For the span from 18 to 47 years of age, moderate and high-grade degeneration increased from 6.7% to 36.7% and from 13.3% to 22.4%, respectively. Of 943 women, 57 (6%) had disc displacements, of which 97% were in conjunction with high-grade degeneration. There was a statistically significant relationship ( < 0.001) between degeneration and age, and between degeneration and body weight. In young pregnant women, lumbar intervertebral disc degeneration is a ubiquitous, incidental finding, increasing from the late second decade of life onward, which may be part of physiological aging, as opposed to a small percentage of incidental disc displacements.


Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Journal of women's health (2002)
ISSN: 1931-843X


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The replacement of intervertebral discs in the spinal column with artificial devices. The procedure is done in the lumbar or cervical spine to relieve severe pain resulting from INTERVERTEBRAL DISC DEGENERATION.

An INTERVERTEBRAL DISC in which the NUCLEUS PULPOSUS has protruded through surrounding ANNULUS FIBROSUS. This occurs most frequently in the lower lumbar region.

Degenerative changes in the INTERVERTEBRAL DISC due to aging or structural damage, especially to the vertebral end-plates.

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The dissolving of the NUCLEUS PULPOSUS, the semi-gelatinous tissue of a displaced INTERVERTEBRAL DISC. It is usually achieved by the direct injection of a proteolytic enzyme, especially CHYMOPAPAIN, into the herniated disc.

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