INTRODUCTION: Lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) seems to be common in the elderly. And the presence of LSS might have a strong negative influence on both low‐back‐pain related disability and HR‐Qol. However, there is still controversy the relationship between MR imaging and clinical symptom. The purpose of this study was to clarify the relationship between the cross‐sectional area of dural sac and Qol.
METHODS: 459 people (148 male and 311 female, largest number in the 8th decade of life) agreed to participate and were interviewed and received conventional MR imaging in lumbar spine. These comprised approximately 5.3 % of the local population. The presence of LSS was assessed by a specially designed questionnaire. Roland‐Morris Disability Questionnaire (RDQ) for evaluation of low‐back‐pain related disability and SF‐36 were also evaluated. The dural sac cross‐sectional area through the central part of the disc on T2 weighted image was measured by using conventional method described by Hamanishi (J Spinal Dis 1994).
RESULTS: 1) Using questionnaire, 127 people was judged as LSS positive and 332 people as LSS negative, respectively. 2) Cut off point of LSS by the narrowest dural sac area was 65mm2. Its sensitivity was 0.60 and specificity was 0.56. These were relatively lower. This means that dural sac area itself is insufficient for judgment of symptomatic LSS. 3) The dural sac cross‐sectional area did not have any influence on RDQ for evaluation of low‐back‐pain related disability and SF‐36.
DISCUSSION: When we see patient, we should carefully consider that MR imaging findings such as the dural sac cross‐sectional area is not equal to clinical symptom and Qol. ½