J Korean Orthop Assoc.  2016 Oct;51(5):371-377. 10.4055/jkoa.2016.51.5.371.

Comparison of Ultrasonography and Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Measurement of Lumbar Muscles

  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Kosin University College of Medicine, Busan, Korea.
  • 2Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Bumin Hospital Busan, Busan, Korea. woo0ha@naver.com
  • 3Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Wonkwang University School of Medicine, Iksan, Korea.
  • 4Department of Preventive Medicine, Wonkwang University School of Medicine, Iksan, Korea.


The purpose of this study was to compare magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasonography measurement of peri-lumbar muscle atrophy which is thought to be a cause of low back pain.
Eighty-two patients (44 males, 38 females) who visited Wonkang University Hospital from March, 2015 to August, 2015 complaining of lumbar back pain and underwent lumbar MRI were enrolled in this study. Cross section area (CSAMRI) and muscle thickness (MTMRI) of psoas major (PS) and lumbar extensor (LM) located on both sides of L4/5 and L3/4 was measured by MRI, and sono measurement of thickness of the same muscle (MTUS) at the same level of that MRI measurement were analyzed.
In correlation analysis of PS CSAMRI and PS MTUS is the correlation coefficient of L4/5 was 0.136 (p=0.64), L3/4 right (Rt) was 0.070 (p=0.81), and L3/4 left (Lt) was 0.288 (p=0.32). PS CSAMRI at L4/5 Rt showed that correlation coefficient of PS MTUS showed a positive correlation to 0.559 (p=0.04). In analysis of the PS MTMRI and PS MTUS, the correlation coefficient of L4/5 Rt was measured by a 0.316 (p=0.27), L4/5 Lt was 0.022 (p=0.94), L3/4 Rt was 0.236 (p=0.41), and L3/4 Lt did not show a significant result with 0.287 (p=0.31). In the results of correlation analysis of the LM MTMRI and LM MTUS, the correlation coefficient of L4/5 Rt was 0.207 (p=0.49), L4/5 Lt was 0.051 (p=0.86), and L3/4 was Rt 0.048 (p=0.87), L3/4 Lt did not show a significant value with 0.154 (p=0.61).
This study proved that muscle volume obtained from ultrasono is effective for evaluation of cross-sectional area of lumbar muscle.


ultrasonography; magnetic resonance imaging; lumbar muscle cross-sectional area; peri-lumbar muscle atrophy
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