What is the role of CT and MRI in the diagnosis of low back pain?

Updated: Aug 22, 2018
  • Author: Jasvinder Chawla, MD, MBA; Chief Editor: Stephen A Berman, MD, PhD, MBA  more...
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Answer

Answer

CT scanning is an effective diagnostic study when the spinal and neurological levels are clear and bony pathology is suspected.

MRI is most useful when the exact spinal and neurologic levels are unclear, when a pathological condition of the spinal cord or soft tissues is suspected, when postoperative disk herniation is possible, or when an underlying infectious or neoplastic cause is suspected.


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