Provocative Discography: Current Status
Peh W.C.G , (2005) Provocative Discography: Current Status. Biomedical Imaging and Intervention Journal, 1 (1). 7p..
Official URL: http://www.biij.org/2005/1/e2/e2.pdf
Singapore Health Services. Programme Office (Graduate Medical School)
Low back pain is a common clinical problem that may be due to a variety of causes, including disc disease. Provocative discography is an imaging-guided procedure in which a contrast agent is injected into the nucleus pulposus of the disc. Despite its controversial history, it remains the only imaging technique that provides both anatomical and functional information about a diseased disc. Disc morphology is usually assessed on either radiographs or computed tomography (CT), or both. Functional evaluation of the disc consists of pain provocation and careful assessment of the patient's response to pain. As provocative discography is an invasive procedure, it should not be used as a screening study in patients with back pain. It should instead be reserved for carefully- selected patients whose painful symptoms cannot be explained by findings on non-invasive imaging modalities such as magnetic resonance imaging or CT, and who are not responsive to conservative measures. Discography is helpful in selection of patients and disc levels to be operated upon. Careful application of indications and meticulous technique are however required if a successful outcome is to be expected.
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