BACKGROUND AND PURPOSEThough diffusion-weighted (DW) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is useful for diagnosing many pathologies, its use in infectious spondylodiscitis is unclear. We aimed to evaluate the use of DW MRI and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) mapping for the diagnosis of infectious spondylodiscitis.
METHODSIn this retrospective study, 17 patients with confirmed infectious spondylodiscitis were matched by age and level of infected disc with 17 patients with degenerative disc disease (DDD) and 17 healthy controls. All patients received conventional MRI and diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) in the same imaging session. ADC values of the 3 groups of patients were compared.
RESULTSThe mean age of each group was 67.4 11.6 years. The mean ADCs of the normal control, DDD, and infectious spondylodiscitis groups were 1.76 +/- 0.19 x 10(-3), 1.12 +/- 0.22 x 10(-3), and 1.27 +/- 0.38 x 10(-3) mm(2)/second, respectively. The ADCs of the DDD and infectious spondylodiscitis groups were both significantly lower than that of the normal control group (both, P < 0.001).
CONCLUSIONThese data suggest that DWI/ADC MRI may be useful in the early diagnosis of infectious spondylodiscitis.