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Minerva Ortopedica e Traumatologica 2017 September;68(3):191-7

DOI: 10.23736/S0394-3410.17.03841-3

Copyright © 2017 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Current concepts for use of CT and MRI in spinal deformity patients

Kathleen MAGUIRE 1, Stephen WENDOLOWSKI 2, Jesse GALINA 2, Terry D. AMARAL 2, Vishal SARWAHI 2

1 Department of Orthopedic Surgery, A I DuPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington, DE, USA; 2 Cohen Children’s Medical Center, New Hyde Park, NY, USA


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The objective of this review is to give an overview of the benefits and drawbacks of using preoperative computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans when preparing for spinal deformity surgery. The use of preoperative CT scans has been shown to help assess vertebral rotation, identify pedicle abnormality, assess bone quality, and improve surgeon confidence in placing pedicle screws. The biggest concern is increased radiation exposure, especially with regards to the pediatric population. Preoperative MRIs allow for the diagnosis of intraspinal abnormalities. Moreover, this comes with no risk of radiation. However, there is no consensus in the literature regarding the necessity of preoperative MRIs. With respect to spinal deformity, the benefit of no radiation is limited by MRI’s ability to visualize bony anatomy. Access to machines is limited, and the cost of performing MRIs is more than all other imaging modalities. This review aims to give a better understanding of the use of preoperative CT and MRI for spinal deformity surgery patients.


KEY WORDS: Tomography, X-ray computed - Magnetic resonance imaging - Surgery - Spine

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