Sciatic neurosteatosis: Relationship with age, gender, obesity and height

Shayna Ratner, Raamis Khwaja, Lihua Zhang, Yin Xi, Riham Dessouky, Craig Rubin, Avneesh Chhabra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Aim: To evaluate inter-reader performance for cross-sectional area and fat quantification of bilateral sciatic nerves on MRI and assess correlations with anthropometrics. Methods: In this IRB-approved, HIPPA-compliant study, three readers performed a cross-sectional analysis of 3T lumbosacral plexus MRIs over an 18-month period. Image slices were evaluated at two levels (A and B). The sciatic nerve was outlined using a free hand region of interest tool on PACS. Proton-density fat fraction (FF) and cross-sectional areas were recorded. Inter-reader agreement was assessed using intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC). Spearman correlation coefficients were used for correlations with age, BMI and height and Wilcoxon rank sum test was used to assess gender differences. Results: A total of 67 patients were included in this study with male to female ratio of 1:1. Inter-reader agreement was good to excellent for FF measurements at both levels (ICC=0.71–0.90) and poor for sciatic nerve areas (ICC=0.08–0.27). Positive correlations of sciatic FF and area were seen with age (p valueOpenSPiltSPi0.05). Males had significantly higher sciatic intraneural fat than females (pOpenSPiltSPi0.05). Conclusion: Fat quantification MRI is highly reproducible with significant positive correlations of sciatic FF and area with age, which may have implications for MRI diagnosis of sciatic neuropathy. Key Points: • MR proton density fat fraction is highly reproducible at multiple levels. • Sciatic intraneural fat is positively correlated with increasing age (p OpenSPiltSPi 0.05). • Positive correlations exist between bilateral sciatic nerve areas and age (p OpenSPiltSPi 0.05). • Males had significantly higher sciatic intraneural fat than females (p OpenSPiltSPi 0.05).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1673-1680
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Radiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018


  • Fat quantification
  • MRI
  • Neuropathy
  • Neurosteatosis
  • Proton density fat fraction
  • Sciatic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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