Evaluation the Difference between Results of MRI and Electrodiagnostic Methods in Inferior Lumbosacral Discopathies

Mohammad Shimia, Ali Meshkini, Moslem Shakeri, Aidin Kazempoor Azar, Atta Mahdkhah, Farhad Mirzaei, Kamkar Aeinfar, Mohammad Taghi Imani, Hadi Mohammad Khanli


Introduction: To achieve an appropriate treatment for low back pain we should know the exact reason of the pain. Beside physical examination, imaging modalities like CT scan and MRI are the other diagnostic methods for LBP. Furthermore, electrodiagnostic studies help to diagnose the reason behind radiculopathy. Actually when the reason of radiculopathy is unclear, these methods help to localize the exact nerve root causing the pain and rule out the similar reasons of radiculopathy. The aim of this study was to compare MRI and EMG in diagnosing the reason of lumbosacral radiculopathies. Methods: In this cross sectional descriptive-analytical study, the number of patients who came to neurosurgery clinics with LBP and lumbar discopathy and been evaluated by MRI and EMG were studied. Later, for every patient a questionnaire was completed based on the results achieved from MRI and EMG and the obtained results were compared. Results: 100 patients were participated in this study, 60% female and 40% male. The average age of patients was 39/75 years. The most frequent chief complaint of patients was LBP with a prevalence of 43%. MRI findings showed 64% involvement of L4/L5 level in these patients. On the other hand, EMG findings also showed L4/L5 level involvement in 64% of patients confirming the hypothesis of our study that MRI and EMG findings are compatible with each other in determining the level and intensity of disc involvement. Conclusion: For determining the level of injury in lumbosacral radiculopathies, both MRI and EMG are equally useful. Additionally, in borderline cases we can use EMG to confirm MRI findings to determine the intensity and level of injury.

Keywords: Lumbosacral radiculopathy; Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Electromyography


Full Text:



Park GY, Lee SY. The Association between Pain Drawings and Electrodiagnostic Findings in Low Back Pain. J Korean Acad Rehabil Med. 2000;24(5):988-994.

Tsao BE, Levin KH, Bodner RA. Comparison of surgical and electrodiagnostic findings in single root lumbosacral radiculopathies. Muscle Nerve. 2003;27(1):60-4.

David S, Craig K, George C, Christine M. Acute Lumbar Disk Pain: Navigating Evaluation and Treatment Choices. Am Fam Physician. 2008;78(7):835-842.

Date ES, Mar EY, Bugola MR. The prevalence of lumbar paraspinal spontaneous activity in assymptomatic subjects. Muscle Nerve. 1996;19:350-354.

Bromberg M, Jaros L.Symmetry of normal motor and sensory nerve conduction measurements . Muscle Nerve. 1998;21:498-503.

Carter GT, Fritz RC. Electromyographic and lower extremity short time to inversion recovery magnetic resonance imaging findings in lumbar radiculopathy. Muscle Nerve. 1997:20(9):1191-3.

Ertekin C, Nejat RS, Sirin H, Selçuki D, Arac N, Ertaş M, Colakoğlu Z. Comparison of magnetic coil stimulation and needle electrical stimulation in the diagnosis of lumbosacral radiculopathy. Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 1994;96(2):124-9.

van der Windt DA, Simons E, Riphagen II, Ammendolia C, Verhagen AP, Laslett M, Devillé W, Deyo RA, Bouter LM, de Vet HC, Aertgeerts B. Physical examination for lumbar radiculopathy due to disc herniation in patients with low-back pain. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010;17;2,CD007431.

Morningstar MW. Improvement of lower extremity electrodiagnostic findings following a trial of spinal manipulation and motion-based therapy. Chiropr Osteopat. 2006;14:20.

Lewis AM, Layzer R, Engstrom JW, Barbaro NM, Chin CT. "Magnetic resonance neurography in extraspinal sciatica". Arch. Neurol. 2006;63(10):1469–72.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2013-2023 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD.

Advances in Bioscience and Clinical Medicine