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MR guidance of laser disc decompression: preliminary in vivo experience

The purpose of this study was to perform percutaneous laser disc decompression (PLDD) under MR guidance in an open configuration 0. 5-T MR system. Following failed conservative treatment for 6 months, eight patients with contained disc herniations were enrolled in the study. Following MR guided introduction of the laser fiber into the targeted disc space, the laser-induced temperature distribution was visualized using a color-coded subtraction technique based on a T1-weighted GRE sequence. In seven patients PLDD could be performed. In all cases laser effects were depicted by MR. In this regard the color-coded technique was found to be superior to conventional magnitude images. Whereas no apparent decrease in the extent of herniation was discovered immediately following PLDD, T2-weighted FSE images showed signal intensity alterations in two of the seven patients. Clinical evaluation, obtained 3-4 months after PLDD, revealed a fair (n = 2) or good (n = 4) response to the treatment. One patient showed no change in symptoms. MR guidance and monitoring of PLDD is feasible within an open 0.5-T system and seems to render PLDD more safe and controllable

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The London Spine Unit was established in 2005 and has successfully treated over 5000 patients. All conditions are treated.

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