Evaluation of the Association between Lumbar Spinal Stenosis and Lumbar Subcutaneous Fat Tissue Thickness by MRI: A Novel Perspective

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ATALAY B., Saritepe F., Topcam A., GÜÇLÜ H., GÜRBÜZ M. S.

JCPSP-JOURNAL OF THE COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS AND SURGEONS PAKISTAN, vol.32, no.2, pp.147-151, 2022 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 32 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.29271/jcpsp.2022.02.147
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.147-151
  • Keywords: Lumbar, Spinal canal, Stenosis, Subcutaneous fat tissue, Magnetic resonance imaging, BODY-MASS INDEX, DISC DEGENERATION, OBESITY, SURGERY


Objective: To evaluate whether lumbar subcutaneous fat tissue thickness (LSFTT) on midsagittal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is associated with lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS). Study Design: Observational cross-sectional study. Place and Duration of Study: Department of Radiology and Neurosurgery, Istanbul Medeniyet University School of Medicine, Istanbul, Turkey between January 2018 and December 2020. Methodology: The study group included 79 patients, who had undergone surgery for lumbar spinal stenosis. The control group included MRI scans of 80 individuals without lumbar spinal stenosis. Association between LSFTT and LSS was analysed through a comparison of both the groups. Results: The agreement between the two observers was found to be very good agreement with a two-way mixed intra-class correlation coefficient of 0.986 or higher (p <0.001). There was statistically significant differences between the LSS and non-LSS groups for both L5-S1 and L4-5 level measurements, p=0.001, and p=0.004, respectively. L5-S1 level measurements in the LSS group showed 29% increase in average with respect to the non-LSS group; and in L4-L5 level measurements, the increase was 40% in median. Females exhibited significantly higher values in both levels, (p <0.001 and p <0.001, respectively). Conclusions: Lumbar subcutaneous fat tissue thickness is significantly associated with lumbar spinal stenosis. Measuring LSFTT on mid-sagittal MRI is an easily applicable, reproducible alternative method for predicting LSS.