Reference values for the cervical spinal canal and the vertebral bodies by MRI in a general population

Autoři: Christopher Nell aff001;  Robin Bülow aff001;  Norbert Hosten aff001;  Carsten Oliver Schmidt aff002;  Katrin Hegenscheid aff001
Působiště autorů: Department of Diagnostic Radiology and Neuroradiology, University Medicine Greifswald, Greifswald, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Germany aff001;  Institute for Community Medicine, University Medicine Greifswald, Greifswald, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Germany aff002
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(9)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0222682



To provide population-based reference values for cervical spinal canal parameters and vertebral body (VB) width and to study their associations with sex, age, body height, body weight and body mass index (BMI) using MRI.


Cross-sectional analyses included data from 2,453 participants, aged 21–89 years, of the population-based Study of Health in Pomerania (SHIP) who underwent whole-body MRI at 1.5 Tesla between July 2008 and March 2011. A standardised reading was performed for the C2-C7 cervical spine levels at sagittal T2 TSE weighted sequences.


Reference intervals for spinal canal parameters were similar in males and females, while VB width was on average 2.1–2.2 mm larger in males. Age effects were only substantial regarding VB width with a 0.5 mm per ten-year age increase. Body height effects were only substantial regarding the osseous spinal canal and VB width. Body weight and BMI effects are mostly not substantial.


Our study provides MRI-based reference values for the cervical spinal canal parameters in an adult Caucasian population. Except for VB width, associations with sex, age and somatometric measures are mostly small and thus have only limited clinical implications. Some available cut-off values may need a revision because they likely overestimate risks.

Klíčová slova:

Body Mass Index – Body weight – Magnetic resonance imaging – Spine – Stenosis – Body height – Canals


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