Analyzing Spondylolisthesis in Patients with Proven Spinal Stenosis Using Plain X-Rays and Supine MRI: A Retrospective Study of Five Years


  • Mumtaz Ali
  • Akram Ullah
  • Ramzan Hussain
  • Hanif Ur Rahman
  • Sajid Khan
  • Amjad Ali
  • Abdul Haseeb Sahibzada



Spondylolisthesis, Spinal Stenosis


Objective:  This study aimed to evaluate the frequency of cases in which patients were diagnosed with lumber spinal stenosis using MRI and later were categorized as having spondylolisthesis when evaluated through plain X-rays.

Material and Methods:  This retrospective study was conducted at the Ali Institute of Neurosciences, Irfan General Hospital from 2017 to 2022. All those patients were included in the study who underwent lumbar spine MRI between 2017 and 2022 with evident findings of spinal stenosis, patients who subsequently underwent plain X-rays of the lumbar spine, and patients with available medical records and imaging data for review. While all those were excluded who did not undergo plain X-rays following MRI. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 22. Descriptive statistics, such as frequencies and percentages, were used to summarize the categorical data while mean and standard deviation were reported for numerical data.

Results:  The mean age of the study population was 45 years, with a range from 26 to 65. Among the patients included in the study (1156), 380 were the cases missed initially on MRI and later diagnosed with spondylolisthesis on plain X-rays. This corresponds to a frequency of 33% of misdiagnosed spondylolisthesis cases based on MRI.

Conclusion:  This study highlights that the frequency of missed spondylolisthesis cases on lumbar spine MRI was one-third of the cases and the importance of additional imaging modalities, such as plain X-rays, for accurate diagnosis.


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