Quantitative magnetic resonance imaging as a diagnostic tool of intervertebral disc matrix composition and integrity

Project Details


Low back pain is the most prevalent and costly illness in our society. Our ability to accurately diagnose and treat low back pain is still in its infancy. Much of this stems from a lack of non-invasive diagnostic tools that offer an accurate way of assessing disc degeneration. The intervertebral disc, a structure that offers mobility to the spine, has received much attention as a principal source of low back pain. The disc's main building blocks are the collagens and proteoglycans, which are attached to each other and interact in a complex fashion called the matrix. Breakdown and alteration of this arrangement leads to disc degeneration and eventually a complete spine degenerative process. Quantitative resonance magnetic imaging is a rapidly evolving field that has the potential to provide one with accurate information about the components and ultrastructural organization of the disc's matrix. Further development of such a diagnostic tool could then be used as an objective, non-irradiating, accurate, and non-invasive diagnostic tool. It could be used to assess and follow the treatment modalities of disc pathology that are presently being developed.
Effective start/end date1/10/0830/09/11


  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research: $240,907.00


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