Correlation of axial loaded magnetic resonance imaging with clinical symptoms in lumbar spinal canal stenosis patients

Original Research


There are cases when symptoms are available but no abnormal stenosis is found in MRI and vice versa. Axial-loaded MRI has been shown that it can demonstrate more accurately the real status of spinal canal stenosis than conventional MRI. This is the first time we applied a new system that we have recreated from the original loading frame system in order to fit with the demands of Vietnamese people. Sixty-two patients were selected from Phu Tho Hospital in Phu Tho Province, Vietnam, who fulfilled the inclusion criteria. The Anterior-posterior diameter (APD), Dura Cross-sectional Area (DSCA) in conventional MRI and axial loaded MRI, and changes in APD and DCSA were determined at the single most constricted intervertebral level. The APD and DCSA in axial loaded MRI had very good significant correlations with VAS for back pain (rs=0.83, 0.79), leg pain (rs=0.69, 0.57) and JOA score (rs=0.70, 0.65). APD and DCSA in axial loaded MRI significantly correlated with the severity of symptoms. Our axial loading MRI provides more valuable information than the conventional MRI for assessing patients with LSCS.

Graphical abstract