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Single photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT) scan-positive facet joints and other spinal structures in a hospital-wide population with spinal pain

BACKGROUND CONTEXT: The current criterion standard for zygapophyseal (facet) joint pain diagnosis is placebo-controlled triple comparative local anesthetic facet joint or medial branch blocks. Single photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT) scanning is a less invasive modality that has been widely used in patients with spinal pain for the diagnosis of facet joint arthritis. Previous studies have shown that SPECT results correlate well with response to facet joints steroid injections. PURPOSE: To evaluate the prevalence of SPECT scan-positive facet joints and other spinal areas in different age groups in a hospital-wide population with spinal pain. STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective study. METHODS: This study included 534 patients who underwent a SPECT scan for spinal pain over 7.5 years in our hospital. All referrals from all doctors for any cervical or lumbar spinal pain were included, and the results were reviewed. RESULTS: A total of 486 patients (91.1%) had at least one positive abnormality on SPECT scan; 81.3% had increased uptake in different structures and regions of the spine. This included 42.8% increased uptake in the facet joint 29.8% in the vertebral bodies/end plates, and 5.9% in sacroiliac joints. The prevalence of increased uptake in the lumbosacral and cervical spine was 44% and 37%, respectively. When patients were divided into five age groups (below 40, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, and 70 years and older), there was a significantly higher increased prevalence in advancing age groups. CONCLUSIONS: In a hospital-wide population with spinal pain, there is a 42.88% prevalence of increased uptake in the facet joint on SPECT. The incidence increases significantly with advancing age. SPECT can play a role in investigating patients with spinal pain

Keywords : abnormalities,Adult,Age Factors,Aged,diagnosis,diagnostic imaging,epidemiology,Humans,Incidence,Low Back Pain,Lumbar Vertebrae,methods,Middle Aged,Pain,Predictive Value of Tests,Prevalence,Retrospective Studies,Sacroiliac Joint,Spinal Diseases,Spine,statistics & numerical data,Tomography,Emission-Computed,Single-Photon,Zygapophyseal Joint,, Photon,Emission,Computerized,Tomography,(Spect), rsi shoulder pain

Date of Publication : 2010 Jan

Authors : Makki D;Khazim R;Zaidan AA;Ravi K;Toma T;

Organisation : Department of Orthopaedics, Southend Hospital, Essex, SS0 0RY, United Kingdom. daoudmakki@doctors.net.uk

Journal of Publication : Spine J

Pubmed Link : https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19643679

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