Emergent, After Hours Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Spine

David F. Black, Christopher P. Wood, Michael L. Wells, Bradley J. Erickson, Felix E. Diehn, Timothy J. Kaufmann, Charlotte H. Rydberg, Julie R. Gilbertson, Christopher H. Hunt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Requests for after-hours emergent spine MR imaging seem to be increasing. We sought to review the trend in after hours spine MRI utilization at our institution and to determine how these results impacted therapeutic intervention. METHODS: Following Institutional Review Board approval, reports from 179 after hours spinal MRI's performed over the past 13 years were obtained and the relevant electronic medical records were reviewed. RESULTS: Emergent after hours spine MRI utilization increased from 7 per year to 23 over 13 years. Fifty-eight percent (104/179) had significant findings. Twenty-nine percent (52/179) of all patients imaged underwent surgery to treat pathologies identified on MR. Surgery was performed in only 2% (4/179) of these patients within 3 hours and 6% (10/179) within 6 hours of MRI completion. Five percent (8/179) had findings that were treated with radiation therapy and in 78% of these it was performed within 6-12 hours. Of those in whom steroids or antibiotics were initiated, 41% and 50% were treated within 3 hours of MR scanning, respectively. DISCUSSION: Clinical use of emergent after hours spine MRI is steadily increasing at our institution. While MR imaging often discerned significant pathologies, performing these emergent studies rarely resulted in immediate surgical or radiotherapeutic intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)590-594
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Neuroimaging
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015


  • After-hours care
  • MRI
  • Spine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Emergent, After Hours Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Spine'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this