A Prospective Cohort Study of MR Abnormalities and Back Pain Risk

This study has been completed.
Sponsor:
Information provided by:
Department of Veterans Affairs
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier:
NCT00011739
First received: February 27, 2001
Last updated: January 20, 2009
Last verified: February 2003
  Purpose

Low back pain is a frequent cause of disability and a common reason for outpatient care in veterans. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the lower back often reveals abnormalities,which may be used to justify expensive and invasive therapy, such as surgery. Yet the link between MRI abnormalities and the risk of developing clinically significant back pain is far from clear. This longitudinal study will determine the prevalence and incidence of MRI abnormalities among veterans and determine the extent to which specific MRI abnormalities predict future development of back pain. The result should help clinicians use MR imaging more efficiently, and they may ultimately help reduce the frequency of unnecessary back surgery.


Condition
Low Back Pain

Study Type: Observational
Official Title: A Prospective Cohort Study of MR Abnormalities and Back Pain Risk

Resource links provided by NLM:


Further study details as provided by Department of Veterans Affairs:

Estimated Enrollment: 150
Study Start Date: November 1997
Estimated Study Completion Date: September 2001
Detailed Description:

Primary Objective:

Low back pain is a frequent cause of disability and a common reason for outpatient care in veterans. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the lower back often reveals abnormalities, which may be used to justify expensive and invasive therapy, such as surgery. Yet the link between MRI abnormalities and the risk of developing clinically significant back pain is far from clear. This longitudinal study will determine the prevalence and incidence of MRI abnormalities among veterans and determine the extent to which specific MRI abnormalities predict future development of back pain. The results should help clinicians use MR imaging more efficiently, and they may ultimately help reduce the frequency of unnecessary back surgery.

Study Abstract:

Low back pain is the second most common symptomatic reason for physician visits in the U.S. resulting in over $24 billion annually in direct health care costs. A survey of primary care patients a the Seattle VA revealed that more than one-quarter experienced back pain severe enough to require a visit to a health care practitioner. Imaging plays a vital role in the valuation of patients with back pain. However, a causal relationship between imaging abnormalities and back pain has yet to be clearly established. Abnormalities of the lumbar spine on magnetic resonance (MR) imaging are common and increase with age to the point that they are nearly ubiquitous over the age of 50. Despite this, imaging abnormalities are often used to justify various therapies for low back pain, including expensive and invasive therapy, such as surgery. Prior studies have examined the prevalence of imaging abnormalities, but no study has investigate either the degree of risk that imaging abnormalities impart for the development of low back pain or the incidence of imaging abnormalities. The goal is to examine the natural history of magnetic resonance imaging of the lumbar spine in asymptomatic subjects. We want to determine the relationship of imaging abnormalities to the development of low back pain by comparing patients with normal imaging to those with abnormal imaging

  Eligibility

Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No
Criteria

VA patients who did not have low back pain within the past four months of recruitment, never had spine surgery, and had no serious systematic medical problem.

  Contacts and Locations
Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00011739

Locations
United States, Washington
VA Puget Sound Health Care System
Seattle, Washington, United States, 98108
Sponsors and Collaborators
  More Information

No publications provided

ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00011739     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: S002
Study First Received: February 27, 2001
Last Updated: January 20, 2009
Health Authority: United States: Federal Government

Keywords provided by Department of Veterans Affairs:
Low back pain, Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI),

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Congenital Abnormalities
Back Pain
Low Back Pain
Pain
Neurologic Manifestations
Nervous System Diseases
Signs and Symptoms

ClinicalTrials.gov processed this record on April 22, 2014