MRI Prediction of Therapeutic Response to Epidural Steroid Injection in Patients with Cervical Radiculopathy

Fish DE, Kobayashi HW, Chang TL, Pham Q

The objective of this study was to analyze whether magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings can be used to predict therapeutic responses to cervical epidural steroid injections (CESI) in patients with cervical radiculopathy.  32 patients were categorized by presence or absence of four types of cervical MRI findings (disk herniation, nerve root compromise, neuroforaminal stenosis, and central canal stenosis).  Only the presence, vs. absence, of central canal stenosis was associated with significantly superior therapeutic response to CESI. 

Patients with central canal stenosis achieved significantly better functional outcome after CESI than those without. Hence, the MRI finding of central canal stenosis is a potential indication that CESI may be merited.

American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, 2009, 88(3), 239-246

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