Magnetic Resonance Neurography in Chronic Lumbosacral and Pelvic Pain: Diagnostic and Management Impact–Institutional Audit

Riham Dessouky, Yin Xi, Kelly M. Scott, Mohammed Khaleel, Kevin Gill, Stephanie Jones, Dalia N. Khalifa, Hazim I. Tantawy, Magdy A. Aidaros, Avneesh Chhabra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background/Objective: Low back and pelvic pain are among the most prevalent conditions worldwide, with major social and economic costs. The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of magnetic resonance neurography (MRN) of lumbosacral plexus in the management and outcomes of these patients with chronic pain. Methods: Consecutive patients with chronic lumbosacral and pelvic pain referred for MRN over a year were included. Preimaging and postimaging clinical diagnosis and treatment, pain levels, and location were recorded. Pain-free survival was compared between treatments using a Cox proportional hazards model. Results: A total of 202 patients with mean age 53.7 ± 14.8 years and a male/female ratio of 1:1.53 were included. Of these patients, 115 presented with radiculopathy (57%), 56 with pelvic pain (28%), and 31 with groin pain (15%). Mean initial pain level was 6.9 ± 1.9. Mean symptom duration was 4.21 ± 5.86 years. Of these patients, 143 (71%) had a change in management because of MRN. After MRN, reduction in pain levels was observed in 21 of 32 patients receiving conservative treatment (66%), 42 of 67 receiving injections (63%), and 27 of 33 receiving surgery (82%). Follow-ups were available in 131 patients. Median pain-free survival was 12 months. Patients treated with surgery had significantly lower pain recurrence than patients receiving other treatments in the same time frame (hazard ratio, 3.6; 95% confidence interval, 1.4–9.2; P = 0.0061). Conclusions: MRN use in chronic lumbosacral and pelvic pain led to a meaningful change in diagnosis and treatment. After MRN, conservative treatment and injections provided pain relief; however, patients benefited more from surgery than from any other treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalWorld Neurosurgery
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018


  • Lumbosacral
  • Management
  • MRN
  • Outcome
  • Pelvic pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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