Cervical spine disk herniation: Comparison of ct and 3dft gradient echo mr scans

David M. Yousem, Scott W. Atlas, David B. Hackney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to compare CT and MR for the detection of cervical disk herniations. Nineteen patients suspected of harboring degenerative disk disease of the cervical spine underwent thin contiguous section CT myelography (CTM) and thin contiguous section three-dimensional Fourier transform (3DFT) gradient echo MR at 67 disk levels. Blinded readings of a high intensity CSF MR technique for the presence or absence of disk herniation were performed by three neuroradiologists. The intraobserver CT- MR concordances ranged from 84 to 89%. Using CTM as the paragon test, MR demonstrated a sensitivity of 79-91% and a specificity of 82-88% for disk herniation. Mean MR-CT concordance (86%) was nearly equivalent to that of CT-CT intraobserver concordance (88%). When consensus readings were considered, the MR-CT concordance (91%) was slightly higher than that of CT- CT intraobserver concordance (88%). We conclude that thin section 3DFT gradient echo MR with high intensity CSF is a reliable method to screen for degenerative disk disease in the cervical spine, since the agreement between MR and CTM is comparable with the intraobserver agreement of CTM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)345-351
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of computer assisted tomography
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Abnormalities- Magnetic resonance
  • Herniation-Spine
  • Imaging-Computed tomography
  • Intervertebral disks-Spine
  • Spine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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