Magnetic Resonance Myelography (MRM) as a lumbar spine examination technique

Conventional myelography involves side effects and complications due to puncture of cerebrospinal fluid space and injection of contrast medium. On the other hand, Magnetic Resonance Myelography (MRM) is a new noninvasive method for generating myelogram like images of the lumbar thecal sac, requiring neither puncture nor contrast medium nor x - rays and causing no serious side effects.

The method is based on suppressing background signal by using heavily T2 weighted fast spin - echo pulse sequences and obliterating fat signal by presaturation. The resulting slices are then projected into a composite image using a standard maximum intensity projection algorithm.

MRM yields reproducible high - quality images of the lumbar thecal sac, which show excellent definition of the thecal margins, nerve roots, and nerve roots sheaths. The diagnostic value and accuracy of MRM and conventional myelography are the same, but MRM requires neither puncture nor contrast medium nor x - rays. This method could potentially replace conventional lumbar myelography and post - myelographic CT studies.