Won C. Bae1, Tomoaki Yoshikawa2, Richard Znamirowski1, Aseem R. Hemmad2, Bruno C. Vande Berg3, Christine B. Chung1, Koichi Masuda2, Graeme M. Bydder1
1Radiology, University of California, San Diego, San Diego, CA, United States; 2Orthopaedic Surgery, University of California, San Diego, San Diego, CA, United States; 3Radiology, Cliniques Universitaires St Luc, Universit Catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium
UTE MR image of human lumbar spine reveals distinct linear signal near disc endplates, unlike signal voids seen in conventional MR images. Normal and abnormal (loss and diminution) patterns of UTE signal were evaluated in 29 lumbar spines at different levels. In addition, disc degeneration was evaluated in T2-weighted spin echo images using Pfirrmann grading system. UTE signal abnormality did not depend on the level, but was increasingly found in levels with advanced disc degeneration. The present results demonstrated unique ability of UTE MRI to directly evaluate region near endplate, and association between endplate MR changes with disc degeneration.