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Optimal cut-off points of lumbar pedicle thickness as a morphological parameter to predict lumbar spinal stenosis syndrome: a retrospective study

Purpose: Lumbar spinal stenosis syndrome (LSSS) is induced by factors such as ligamentum flavum hypertrophy, facet joint hypertrophy and disc degeneration. However, the role of lumbar pedicle (LP) in LSSS has yet to be evaluated. We devised a new morphological parameter called the lumbar pedicle thickness (LPT) to evaluate the connection between LSSS and the LP. We hypothesized that the LPT is a major morphological parameter in the diagnosis of LSSS. Patients and methods: The LPT data were collected from 136 patients diagnosed with LSSS. A total of 99 control subjects underwent lumbar spine magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as part of a detailed medical assessment. Axial T2-weighted magnetic resonance (MR) images were acquired from all the participants. Using our picture archiving and communication system, we analyzed the thickness of the LP at the level of L5 vertebra on MRI. Results: The average LPT was 9.46+/-1.81 mm in the control group and 13.26+/-1.98 mm in the LSSS group. LSSS patients showed a significantly greater LPT (P<0.001) than the control group. The receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis showed an optimal cutoff point of 11.33 mm for the LPT, with 83.8% sensitivity, 83.8% specificity and area under the curve of 0.92 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.89-0.96). Conclusion: A higher LPT was associated with a higher possibility of LSSS, suggesting its importance in the evaluation of patients with LSSS

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