Human lumbar spine is composed of multiple tissue components that serve to provide structural stability and proper nutrition. Conventional magnetic resonance (MR) imaging techniques have been useful for evaluation of IVD, but inadequate at imaging the discovertebral junction and ligamentous tissues due primarily to their short T2 nature. Ultrashort time to echo (UTE) MR techniques acquire sufficient MR signal from these short T2 tissues, thereby allowing direct and quantitative evaluation. This article discusses the anatomy of the lumbar spine, MR techniques available for morphologic and quantitative MR evaluation of long and short T2 tissues of the lumbar spine, considerations for T2 relaxation modeling and fitting, and existing and new techniques for spine image post-processing, focusing on segmentation. This article will be of interest to radiologic and orthopaedic researchers performing lumbar spine imaging.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This article was made possible in part by grants from the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIP) (2016R1A2R4015016) in support of Dr. Hwang, the Clinical Science Research and Development of the VA Office of Research and Development (Award Number 5I01CX000625; Project ID: 1161961) in support of Dr. Christine B. Chung, and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases of the National Institutes of Health in support of Dr. Won C. Bae (Grant Number R01 AR066622).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging