Classification, diagnostic imaging, and imaging characterization of a lumbar herniated disk

Radiol Clin North Am. 2000 Nov;38(6):1267-92. doi: 10.1016/s0033-8389(08)70006-x.


The absence of universal nomenclature standardization with respect to the definition of a disk herniation and its different categories, especially regarding type and location, is still a major problem that will only be overcome when major national or international scientific societies join efforts to support a particular scheme. Meanwhile, it is important to realize that the two models that are currently most used are based on a different [figure: see text] perspective. Trying to straddle the two by opposing, for instance, bulging disk and herniation is doomed to failure because this exercise defies formal logic. MR imaging is currently the most accurate noninvasive imaging modality to diagnose a disk herniation and to determine its exact location. The determination of some pathoanatomic characteristics of herniated disks (type and composition) may require the use of CT, diskography, or CT diskography.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / pathology
  • Diagnostic Imaging*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intervertebral Disc Displacement / classification*
  • Intervertebral Disc Displacement / diagnosis
  • Intervertebral Disc Displacement / pathology
  • Intervertebral Disc Displacement / physiopathology
  • Low Back Pain / diagnosis
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / pathology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Myelography
  • Rupture, Spontaneous
  • Terminology as Topic
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed