Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Rapid magnetic resonance of the lumbar spine was not better than radiographs for evaluating low back pain

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

 Q In patients with low back pain (LBP), are there clinical or economic consequences when replacing lumbar spine radiography (LSR) with rapid magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)?

Clinical impact ratings GP/FP/Primary care ★★★★★☆☆ Rheumatology ★★★★★☆☆


Embedded ImageDesign:

randomised controlled trial with 12 months of follow up.

Embedded ImageAllocation:


Embedded ImageBlinding:

blinded (outcome assessors.)*

Embedded ImageFollow up period:

12 months.

Embedded ImageSetting:

4 imaging centres in Western Washington State, USA.

Embedded ImagePatients:

380 patients >18 years of age (mean age 53 y, 56% women) who had LBP with or without radiating leg pain referred for radiographs of their lumbar spine. Exclusion criteria included lumbar surgery within 1 year before enrolment, history of acute external trauma, metallic implants in the lumbar spine, any contraindications for MRI, lack of a telephone, pregnancy, and inability to speak English.

Embedded ImageIntervention:

190 patients each …

View Full Text


  • * See glossary.

  • For correspondence: Dr J G Jarvik, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.

  • Sources of funding: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and National Institute for Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.

Linked Articles

  • Glossary
    BMJ Publishing Group Ltd