Contrast-enhanced radicular veins on MR of the lumbar spine in an asymptomatic study group

J. I. Lane, K. K. Koeller, J. L.D. Atkinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To determine whether radicular enhancement occurs in asymptomatic persons and, if so, to provide insight into the mechanism of such enhancement. METHODS: Thirty asymptomatic volunteers were studied with gadolinium-enhanced MR (0.1 mmol/kg) of the lumbar spine. The precontrast axial T1-weighted sequences were reviewed for the entry section phenomenon of flow-related enhancement. If present, the sequence was repeated in combination with a superior saturation pulse in an attempt to eliminate this phenomenon. All studies were reviewed to document the incidence of radicular enhancement and determine its association with the entry section phenomenon. RESULTS: The entry section phenomenon was observed in 16 of 30 volunteers with successful elimination obtained in all cases. Eighteen of the volunteers demonstrated radicular enhancement; 16 of the 18 enhancing roots were associated with the entry section phenomenon. CONCLUSIONS: Radicular enhancement occurs commonly in asymptomatic volunteers. This phenomenon most likely represents the enhancement of prominent radicular veins. We urge caution in interpreting this finding as abnormal in the symptomatic population with degenerative disk disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-273
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Neuroradiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 22 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology


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