Introduction and reproducibility of an updated practical grading system for lumbar foraminal stenosis based on high-resolution MR imaging
In this paper we sought to develop and assess the reproducibility of an updated 6-point grading system for lumbar foraminal stenosis based on the widely used Lee classification that more accurately describes lumbar foraminal stenosis as seen on high-resolution MRI. Grade A indicates absence of foraminal stenosis. Grades B, C, D and E indicate presence of foraminal stenosis with contact of the nerve root with surrounding anatomical structures (on one, two, three or four sides for B, C, D and E respectively) yet without morphological change of the nerve root. To each grade, a number code indicating the location of contact between the nerve root and surrounding anatomical structure(s) is appended. 1, 2, 3 and 4 indicate contact of the nerve root at superior, posterior, inferior and anterior position of the borders of the lumbar foramen. Grade F indicates presence of foraminal stenosis with morphological change of the nerve root. Three readers graded the lumbar foramina of 101 consecutive patients using high-resolution T2w (and T1w) MR images with a spatial resolution of beyond 0.5 mm3. Interreader agreement was excellent (Cohen's Kappa = 0.866-1). Importantly, 30.6%/31.6%/32.2% (reader 1/reader 2/ reader 3) of foramina were assigned grades that did not appear in the original Lee grading system (grades B and D). The readers found no foramen that could not be described accurately with the updated grading system. Thus, an updated 6-point grading system for lumbar foraminal stenosis is reproducible and comprehensively describes lumbar foraminal stenosis as seen on high-resolution MRI.Sign-in to see all concepts, it's free!