Evidence-Based Orthopaedics   |    
Rapid Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Radiography Led to Similar Pain and Disability Outcomes for Patients with Low-Back Pain

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Sources of funding: Grants HS-09499 from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and P60-AR48093 from the National Institute for Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.
For correspondence: Jeffrey G. Jarvik, MD, MPH, Department of Radiology, Box 357115, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195
Jarvik JG, Hollingworth W, Martin B, Emerson SS, Gray DT, Overman S, Robinson D, Staiger T, Wessbecher F, Sullivan SD, Kreuter W, Deyo RA. Rapid Magnetic Resonance Imaging vs Radiographs for Patients with Low Back Pain. A Randomized Controlled Trial.
. 2003 June 4;289: 2810-8.

The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Incorporated
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2004 Feb 01;86(2):440-440
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Question: For patients with low-back pain, is rapid magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) better than radiography as an initial diagnostic test?Design: Randomized (allocation concealed), blinded (outcome assessor), controlled trial with 1-year follow-up.Setting: 4 imaging centers in western Washington State, United States.Patients: 380 patients who were =18 years of age, had low-back pain with or without pain radiating to the lower limb, spoke English, and had a telephone. Exclusion criteria were lumbar surgery in the previous year, history of acute external trauma, metallic implants in the lumbar spine, contraindications for MRI, and pregnancy. Follow-up was 89%.
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