Evaluating Lumbar Intervertebral Disc Degeneration on a Compositional Level Using Chemical Exchange Saturation Transfer: Preliminary Results in Patients with Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis

Lena M. Wollschläger, Sven Nebelung, Christoph Schleich, Anja Müller-Lutz, Karl L. Radke, Miriam Frenken, Matthias Boschheidgen, Max Prost, Gerald Antoch, Markus R. Konieczny, Daniel B. Abrar
2021 Diagnostics  
Lumbar intervertebral disc (IVD) degeneration is characterized by structural and compositional changes. This study aimed to assess the glycosaminoglycan (GAG) content of IVDs of patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) and healthy controls using GAG chemical exchange saturation transfer (gagCEST) imaging. Ten AIS patients (mean age 18.3 ± 8.2 years) and 16 healthy controls (mean age 25.5 ± 1.7 years) were included. Clinical standard morphologic MR images (T1w-, T2w-, and
more » ... s), to rule out further spinal disorders and assess IVD degeneration using the Pfirrmann score, and compositional gagCEST sequences were acquired on a 3T MRI. In AIS patients, the most distal scoliotic curve was determined on whole-spine conventional radiographs and morphological MRI and IVDs were divided as to whether they were affected by scoliotic deformity, i.e., proximal (affected, aIVDs) or distal (unaffected, uaIVDs) to the stable vertebra of the most distal scoliotic curve. Linear mixed models were used to compare mean gagCEST-values. Over all segments, AIS-patients' IVDs exhibited significantly lower gagCEST-values than the controls: 2.76 [2.32, 3.20]% (AIS), 3.51 [3.16, 3.86]% (Control); p = 0.005. Meanwhile, no significant differences were found for gagCEST values comparing aIVDs with uaIVDs. In conclusion, as a powerful diagnostic adjunct, gagCEST imaging may be prospectively applied to detect early compositional degenerative changes in patients suffering from AIS.
doi:10.3390/diagnostics11060934 pmid:34067470 fatcat:4znvhup2ebdnpi3wtj7ox457ga