A Prospective Cohort Study of MR Abnormalities and Back Pain Risk

This study has been completed.
Sponsor:
Information provided by:
Department of Veterans Affairs
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier:
NCT00011739
First received: February 27, 2001
Last updated: January 20, 2009
Last verified: February 2003

February 27, 2001
January 20, 2009
November 1997
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Complete list of historical versions of study NCT00011739 on ClinicalTrials.gov Archive Site
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A Prospective Cohort Study of MR Abnormalities and Back Pain Risk
A Prospective Cohort Study of MR Abnormalities and Back Pain Risk

Low back pain is a frequent cause of disability and a common reason for outpatient care in veterans. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the lower back often reveals abnormalities,which may be used to justify expensive and invasive therapy, such as surgery. Yet the link between MRI abnormalities and the risk of developing clinically significant back pain is far from clear. This longitudinal study will determine the prevalence and incidence of MRI abnormalities among veterans and determine the extent to which specific MRI abnormalities predict future development of back pain. The result should help clinicians use MR imaging more efficiently, and they may ultimately help reduce the frequency of unnecessary back surgery.

Primary Objective:

Low back pain is a frequent cause of disability and a common reason for outpatient care in veterans. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the lower back often reveals abnormalities, which may be used to justify expensive and invasive therapy, such as surgery. Yet the link between MRI abnormalities and the risk of developing clinically significant back pain is far from clear. This longitudinal study will determine the prevalence and incidence of MRI abnormalities among veterans and determine the extent to which specific MRI abnormalities predict future development of back pain. The results should help clinicians use MR imaging more efficiently, and they may ultimately help reduce the frequency of unnecessary back surgery.

Study Abstract:

Low back pain is the second most common symptomatic reason for physician visits in the U.S. resulting in over $24 billion annually in direct health care costs. A survey of primary care patients a the Seattle VA revealed that more than one-quarter experienced back pain severe enough to require a visit to a health care practitioner. Imaging plays a vital role in the valuation of patients with back pain. However, a causal relationship between imaging abnormalities and back pain has yet to be clearly established. Abnormalities of the lumbar spine on magnetic resonance (MR) imaging are common and increase with age to the point that they are nearly ubiquitous over the age of 50. Despite this, imaging abnormalities are often used to justify various therapies for low back pain, including expensive and invasive therapy, such as surgery. Prior studies have examined the prevalence of imaging abnormalities, but no study has investigate either the degree of risk that imaging abnormalities impart for the development of low back pain or the incidence of imaging abnormalities. The goal is to examine the natural history of magnetic resonance imaging of the lumbar spine in asymptomatic subjects. We want to determine the relationship of imaging abnormalities to the development of low back pain by comparing patients with normal imaging to those with abnormal imaging

Observational
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Low Back Pain
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*   Includes publications given by the data provider as well as publications identified by ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier (NCT Number) in Medline.
 
Completed
150
September 2001
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VA patients who did not have low back pain within the past four months of recruitment, never had spine surgery, and had no serious systematic medical problem.

Both
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No
Contact information is only displayed when the study is recruiting subjects
United States
 
NCT00011739
S002
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Department of Veterans Affairs
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Department of Veterans Affairs
February 2003

ICMJE     Data element required by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors and the World Health Organization ICTRP