Semin Musculoskelet Radiol 2019; 23(06): 621-633
DOI: 10.1055/s-0039-1697937
Review Article
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Weight-bearing MRI of the Lumbar Spine: Spinal Stenosis and Spondylolisthesis

1   Department of Rheumatology, The Parker Institute, Copenhagen University Hospital, Bispebjerg and Frederiksberg, Copenhagen, Denmark
,
1   Department of Rheumatology, The Parker Institute, Copenhagen University Hospital, Bispebjerg and Frederiksberg, Copenhagen, Denmark
2   Department of Radiology, Copenhagen University Hospital, Bispebjerg and Frederiksberg, Copenhagen, Denmark
,
2   Department of Radiology, Copenhagen University Hospital, Bispebjerg and Frederiksberg, Copenhagen, Denmark
,
1   Department of Rheumatology, The Parker Institute, Copenhagen University Hospital, Bispebjerg and Frederiksberg, Copenhagen, Denmark
,
3   Department of Imaging and Interventional Radiology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Sha Tin, Hong Kong
,
Gilles Fournier
4   Department of Rheumatology, Copenhagen University Hospital, Rigshospitalet, Bispebjerg and Frederiksberg, Copenhagen, Denmark
,
Ingrid Thorseth
1   Department of Rheumatology, The Parker Institute, Copenhagen University Hospital, Bispebjerg and Frederiksberg, Copenhagen, Denmark
,
Giuseppe Guglielmi
5   Department of Radiology, Scientific Institute “Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza” Hospital, University of Foggia, Foggia, Italy
,
Mikael Boesen
1   Department of Rheumatology, The Parker Institute, Copenhagen University Hospital, Bispebjerg and Frederiksberg, Copenhagen, Denmark
2   Department of Radiology, Copenhagen University Hospital, Bispebjerg and Frederiksberg, Copenhagen, Denmark
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
19 November 2019 (online)

Abstract

Symptoms of degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis include back pain, radiculopathy, claudication, and muscular fatigue that tend to be predominant in the standing position or during walking. Lumbar spondylolisthesis is also a well-known cause of spinal stenosis, lateral recess, and neural foraminal narrowing that tends to become more severe in the upright position. This indicates a functional positional component of both spinal stenosis and spondylolisthesis. Lumbar spinal stenosis and spondylolisthesis are typically evaluated by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) performed in the supine position with a pillow under the patient's lower limbs that slightly flexes the lumbar spine and ameliorates symptoms. Because these two entities tend to be aggravated in the upright position, it seems rational to also consider performing diagnostic imaging in these patients in the upright position. This article reviews the use of weight-bearing MRI for lumbar spinal stenosis and spondylolisthesis.