Chao Kong, Xiang-Yu Li, Si-Yuan Sun, Xiang-Yao Sun, Miao Zhang, Zheng Sun, Yu Wang, Jie Lu, Shi-Bao Lu

April 2021, Volume 30, Issue 4, pp 855 - 864 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-020-06600-7

First Online: 16 September 2020


To investigate the diagnostic value of contrast-enhanced three-dimensional (3D) T2-weighted turbo spin-echo SPACE (T2-SPACE) sequence in LNRC.


A total of 90 surgically confirmed LNRC patients with 165 explored nerve roots were enrolled in this study. Diagnostic values were quantified using sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), negative predictive value (NPV), and accuracy. The consistency between 2D MRI and 3D T2-SPACE MRI was quantified using kappa test. The compression of specific branch in nerve root was evaluated on 2D MRI, 3D T2-SPACE MRI, and surgical findings. The pedicle height, vertebral body height (VH), proximal tilting angle of nerve root (PTA) were measured on MR images.


The sensitivity, specificity, PPV, NPV, and accuracy by 2D MRI were 78.3%, 72.7%, 94.9%, 34.0%, and 77.6%, respectively. For 3D T2-SPACE MRI imaging, the sensitivity, specificity, PPV, NPV, and accuracy were 91.6%, 86.4%, 97.8%, 61.3%, and 90.9%, respectively. 2D MRI and 3D T2-SPACE MRI for detection of intra-foramen and extra-foramen nerve compression showed poor homogeneity (Kappa = 0.333, Kappa = 0.276, respectively). Smaller VHs and larger PTAs could be indicators for the diagnosis of foraminal nerve root compression.


3D T2-SPACE MRI had a higher sensitivity, specificity, PPV, NPV, and accuracy than 2D MRI for detecting LNRC. The 3D T2-SPACE scan could be a good substitute to routine 2D MRI in LNRC diagnosis, especially for foraminal nerve root compression patients.

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