Purpose: To assess the performance of sterile saline solution as the sole contrast agent for percutaneous magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-guided epidural injections at 1.5 T. Methods: A retrospective analysis of two different techniques of MRI-guided epidural injections was performed with either gadolinium-enhanced saline solution or sterile saline solution for documentation of the epidural location of the needle tip. T1-weighted spoiled gradient echo (FLASH) images or T2-weighted single-shot turbo spin echo (HASTE) images visualized the test injectants. Methods were compared by technical success rate, image quality, table time, and rate of complications. Results: 105 MRI-guided epidural injections (12 of 105 with gadolinium-enhanced saline solution and 93 of 105 with sterile saline solution) were performed successfully and without complications. Visualization of sterile saline solution and gadolinium-enhanced saline solution was sufficient, good, or excellent in all 105 interventions. For either test injectant, quantitative image analysis demonstrated comparable high contrast-to-noise ratios of test injectants to adjacent body substances with reliable statistical significance levels (p < 0.001). The mean table time was 22 ± 9 min in the gadolinium-enhanced saline solution group and 22 ± 8 min in the saline solution group (p = 0.75). Conclusion: Sterile saline is suitable as the sole contrast agent for successful and safe percutaneous MRI-guided epidural drug delivery at 1.5 T.
- Nonvascular interventions
- Spine/nervous system
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine