Neuroimaging of Spinal Canal Stenosis

Magn Reson Imaging Clin N Am. 2016 Aug;24(3):523-39. doi: 10.1016/j.mric.2016.04.009.


Spinal stenosis is common and presents in a variety of forms. Symptomatic lumbar stenosis occurs in approximately 10% of the population and cervical stenosis in 9% over age 70. Imaging is central to the management decision process and first-choice MR imaging may be substituted with CT and CT myelography. A review of the literature is presented with particular emphasis on the clinical-radiologic correlation in both neurogenic intermittent claudication and cervical spondylotic myelopathy. Advanced techniques promise improvements, particularly with radicular compressive lesions, but remain underutilized in routine clinical practice.

Keywords: Cauda equina compression; Central canal stenosis; Cervical spondylotic myelopathy; Foraminal stenosis; Lateral stenosis; Neurogenic intermittent claudication; Spinal stenosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Neuroimaging*
  • Spinal Canal / diagnostic imaging
  • Spinal Canal / pathology
  • Spinal Stenosis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Spinal Stenosis / pathology
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*