Which imaging studies are indicated in the workup of chronic pain syndrome (CPS)?

Updated: Jan 14, 2020
  • Author: Manish K Singh, MD; Chief Editor: Stephen Kishner, MD, MHA  more...
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Answer

Imaging studies, including with radiography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and computed tomography (CT) scanning, are important tools in the workup of patients with CPS. (See the images below.)

T1-weighted sagittal magnetic resonance imaging (M T1-weighted sagittal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of the cervical spine in a patient with rheumatoid arthritis shows basilar invagination with cranial migration of an eroded odontoid peg. There is minimal pannus. The tip of the peg indents the medulla, and there is narrowing of the foramen magnum, due to the presence of the peg. Inflammatory fusion of several cervical vertebral bodies is shown.
Oblique view of the cervical spine demonstrates 2 Oblique view of the cervical spine demonstrates 2 levels of foraminal stenosis (white arrows) resulting from facet hypertrophy (yellow arrow) and uncovertebral joint hypertrophy.
Osteoarthritis of the knee, Kellgren stage III. Osteoarthritis of the knee, Kellgren stage III.
Axial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of the Axial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of the cervical spine in a patient with cervical radiculopathy. This image reveals a C6-C7 herniated nucleus pulposus.
Sagittal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of Sagittal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of the cervical spine in a patient with cervical radiculopathy. This image reveals a C6-C7 herniated nucleus pulposus.

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