Fortschr Röntgenstr 2018; 190(06): 561
DOI: 10.1055/a-0606-1324
Leserbrief
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

In reply

Raphael Gübitz
1  Department of Radiology and Neuroradiology, Asklepios Hospital Altona, Hamburg, Germany
,
Tobias Lange
2  Department of Orthopaedics and Tumor Orthopaedics, University Hospital Münster, Münster, Germany
,
Georg Gosheger
2  Department of Orthopaedics and Tumor Orthopaedics, University Hospital Münster, Münster, Germany
,
Walter Heindel
3  Department of Clinical Radiology, University Hospital Münster, Münster, Germany
,
Thomas Allkemper
3  Department of Clinical Radiology, University Hospital Münster, Münster, Germany
,
Christoph Stehling
4  Clinic for Radiology and Neuroradiology, Sankt-Barbara Hospital Ham-Heessen, Hamm, Germany
,
Joachim Gerss
5  Institute of Biostatistics and Clinical Research, University of Münster, Münster, Germany
,
Christian Kanthak
6  Fraunhofer MEVIS, Institute for Medical Image Computing, Bremen, Germany
,
Tobias L. Schulte
7  Department of Orthopaedics and Trauma Surgery, St. Josef Hospital, Ruhr-University Bochum, Bochum, Germany
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
15 May 2018 (online)

Thank you for your interest and remarks regarding our publication “Influence of Age, BMI, Gender and Lumbar Level on T1ρ Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Lumbar Discs in Healthy Asymptomatic Adults”. We do share your view that T1ρ imaging possesses the potential of becoming a valuable tool in the assessment of the intervertebral discs.

As you mentioned, we cannot exclude that some of the healthy volunteers in our study might had changes in the MRI-Signal of the lumbar intervertebral discs as they are seen in symptomatic patients. This is amongst others due to the fact that we did not acquired additional sequences for disc evaluation, mainly T2 weighted images. As discussed under “Limitations” we made this decision in order to keep the overall examination time for the volunteers as short as possible. Furthermore, in our multidisciplinary study we wanted to focus on clinically asymptomatic adults, whether or not there might be changes in imaging that could be considered “degenerative”.

Regarding the effect of gender on possible disc degeneration we acknowledge that there are heterogeneous results in the literature at this point. The lack of a significant influence of gender on disc degeneration in our study is, for example, in accordance to the T1ρ study of Filippi et al. [1] and the large cadaveric study by Siemionow et al. [2].

Nonetheless, as you mentioned there is data in the literature which suggest that after menopause there might be accelerated disc degeneration in women.

Unfortunately, we did not collect the menopause status on our female volunteers and are therefore unable to re-evaluate the data as you suggested. Theoretically, it would be possible to compare the women of group A (as pre-menopausal) with group C (as post-menopausal) but, in this case, differentiating between the influence of age, which we showed to be significant, would be problematic. Furthermore, we believe that our study population, although large, might not be large enough to significantly show the potential influence of menopause. For a better understanding of the influence of menopause (and the potential of T1ρ in spinal imaging in general) we agree with you that larger population based studies are necessary.