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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 64-71

Evaluation of magnetic resonance imaging findings in adult patients with nontraumatic low back pain in South-South Nigeria

1 Department of Radiology, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
2 Department of Surgery, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Ochuko Deborah Rayoffor
Department of Radiology, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1115-1474.164871

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Background: Low back pain (LBP) is a common debilitating disease affecting productivity worldwide. The excellent soft-tissue contrast, noninvasiveness, the absence of bone artifact and ionizing radiation has made magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) the gold standard for evaluating etiology of LBP. Aim: This study is to determine the frequency and pattern of occurrence of MRI findings in patients presenting with LBP as well as correlating it with sociodemographic factors and body mass index (BMI). Materials and Methods: A prospective study of 120 patients who had MRI of the lumbar spine was performed during a 12-month period in University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Data recorded included: Sociodemographics, anthropometry, duration of pain, and MRI findings. Statistical analysis was performed with Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) Version 20. Pearson Chi-square test was used to compare age, sex, occupation, BMI with MRI findings. P < 0.05 was considered significant. Results: The age distribution of patients was from 18 to 80 years; mean age was 51.0 ± 13.2 years. Males were 66 (55%) and females 54 (45%). LBP was chronic in 98 (82%), and professionals had the highest frequency - 49 (40%). Intervertebral disc degeneration was the most common MRI finding and correlated significantly with age (r = 0.342, P = 0.002) and BMI (r = 0.433, P = 0.001) of patients. Conclusion: Intervertebral disc degeneration is a common cause of LBP in our environment. There is a significant association between its presence, extent and severity with the BMI and age of the patients.

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