Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology
Musculoskeletal Imaging - Original Article

Lumbar vertebral T2-relaxation time investigated with T2-mapping at multiple time points in a day demonstrate large individual variations

1.

Department of Radiology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden

2.

Institute of Clinical Sciences, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden

3.

These authors contributed equally to this study.

4.

Department of Orthopaedics, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden

5.

Department of Medical Physics and Techniques, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden

Diagn Interv Radiol 2022; 28: 92-97
DOI: 10.5152/dir.2021.21514
Read: 422 Downloads: 140 Published: 01 January 2022

PURPOSE 
The increasing interest of endplate and Modic changes as potential pain generators in low back pain (LBP), along with advancement of functional quantitative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques, makes it important to characterize the vertebral dynamic behavior in detail. This study aims to perform characterization of the dynamic behavior of the vertebral bodies (VB) by investigating the VB diurnal variation in T2-relaxation time in a cross-sectional asymptomatic group of individuals.

METHODS
T2-mapping of 30 VBs (L1-L5) in six healthy volunteers (mean age, 40 years; range, 29-65 years) was performed with a 1.5 Tesla MRI at three time points over the day (7 am, 12 am, 5 pm). Volumetric regions of interest were segmented manually to determine VB T2-relaxation time, which was compared between the three time points. 

RESULTS
On a group level only small and not significant diurnal VB variation was detected (all P >.10), with median T2 (ms) (quartiles; Q1, Q3) at the three time points 88.7 (84.1, 99.1), 87.3 (85.0, 96.1) and 87.8 (84.4, 99.2). However, in some VBs up to 7% increase respectively 9% decrease in T2-relaxation time was found during the day. Further, there was a relatively large variation between the individuals in absolute VB T2-relaxation times (range 73.2-108.3 ms), but small differences between the VBs within an individual.

CONCLUSION
This first T2-mapping study of the VB signal dynamics, in repeated investigations during one day, display variation in T2-relaxation time in specific individual VBs but were negligible on a group level. The result may be of importance when evaluating patients with spinal pathologies and suggest further examinations of dynamic changes not only of the disc but also vertebrae.

You may cite this article as: Hebelka H, Khalil M, Brisby H, Lagerstrand K. Lumbar vertebral T2-relaxation time investigated with T2-mapping at multiple time points in a day demonstrate large individual variations. Diagn Interv Radiol. 2022;28(1):92-97.

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