Primary pain generator identification by CT-SPECT in patients with degenerative spinal disease

Journal Article

OBJECTIVEAxial spinal pain generators are difficult to identify using current diagnostic modalities. Merging CT with SPECT (CT-SPECT) scans allows for accurate identification of areas with increased osteoblastic activity, which may reflect pain generators. In this study, the authors aimed to evaluate the degree of pain improvement in patients who underwent surgery, addressing primary pain generators identified by CT-SPECT.METHODSThe authors retrospectively reviewed all patients with chronic axial spine pain who underwent diagnostic CT-SPECT at their institution and analyzed pain improvement in those who underwent surgical treatment in order to determine whether CT-SPECT correctly identified the primary pain generator.RESULTSA total of 315 patients underwent diagnostic CT-SPECT between January 2014 and August 2018. Forty-eight patients underwent either cervical or lumbar fusion; there were 26 women (16 cervical, 10 lumbar) and 22 men (9 cervical, 13 lumbar). The overall axial spinal pain, as assessed through self-reporting of visual analog scale scores at 6 months postoperatively, improved from 9.04 ± 1.4 to 4.34 ± 2.3 (p = 0.026), with cervical fusion patients improving from 8.8 ± 1.8 to 3.92 ± 2.2 (p = 0.019) and lumbar fusion patients improving from 9.35 ± 0.7 to 4.87 ± 2.3 (p = 0.008).CONCLUSIONSCT-SPECT may offer a diagnostic advantage over current imaging modalities in identifying the primary pain generator in patients with axial spinal pain.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Tender, GC; Davidson, C; Shields, J; Robichaux, J; Park, J; Crutcher, CL; DiGiorgio, AM

Published Date

  • December 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 47 / 6

Start / End Page

  • E18 - E18

Published By

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1092-0684

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.3171/2019.9.focus19608