Superiority of MRI for Evaluation of Sacral Insufficiency Fracture

Taro Yamauchi, Sagar Sharma, Sarath Chandra, Masato Tanaka, Yoshihiro Fujiwara, Shinya Arataki, Ayush Sharma, Yusuke Yokoyama, Toshinori Oomori, Akihiro Kanamaru, Shin Masuda, Noriyuki Shimizu, Kenta Torigoe, Osamu Honda

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Study Design: Retrospective observational study. Background: Sacral insufficiency fractures (SIF) are relatively rare fractures and difficult to diagnose on plain radiographs. The primary objective of the present study was to evaluate the role of lumbar magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for the diagnosis of SIF. The secondary objective was to identify the classification of SIF by computed tomography (CT). Methods: A total of 77 (Male 11, female 66, mean 80.3 years) people were included in this study. Inclusion criteria for this study were: age ≥ 60 years and no history of high energy trauma. Exclusion criteria were high energy trauma and a current history of malignancy. Differences in the fracture detection and description in the various radiologic procedures were evaluated. Fracture patterns were evaluated with CT. The detection rates of additional pathologies in the MRI of the pelvis and lumbar spine were also recorded. Results: The sensitivities for SIF were 28.5% in radiographs and 94.2% in CT, and all fractures were detected in MRI. MRI showed a more complex fracture pattern compared with CT in 65% of the cases. We observed 71.4% of single SIFs, 9.1% with other spinal fractures, 13.0% with other pelvic fractures, and 7.8% with other fractures. According to the SIF fracture pattern, the H/U type was 40.2%, transverse type was 33.7%, λ/T type was 24.7%, unilateral vertical type was 1.3%, and bilateral vertical type was 0%. Conclusions: an MRI of the lumbar spine including the sacrum with a coronal fat-suppressed T2-weighted image is useful for elderly patients with suddenly increasing low back pain at an early stage. This procedure improves an early SIF detection, recognition of concomitant pathologies, and adequate treatment for the patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4968
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


  • CT
  • MRI
  • plain radiograph
  • sacral insufficiency fracture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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