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01.12.2018 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

BMC Anesthesiology 1/2018

Ultrasound-guided versus low dose computed tomography scanning guidance for lumbar facet joint injections: same accuracy and efficiency

BMC Anesthesiology > Ausgabe 1/2018
Ling Ye, Chuanbing Wen, Hui Liu
Wichtige Hinweise
Chuanbing Wen and Hui Liu contributed equally to this work.



The purpose of this study was to investigate the feasibility, accuracy and efficiency of the facet joint injections in the lumbar spine by ultrasound guided versus lose dose computed tomography (CT) guidance.


First the examination on the joint space of the facet joints of the lumbar spine was obtained by the ultrasound in 10 patients. Second forty patients were randomized assigned into two groups: ultrasound group and low dose CT group. Comparison was made in the clinical efficiency between the ultrasound-guided group and CT group. The feasibility, accuracy and efficiency of the ultrasound-guided lumbar facet joint injections were also evaluated.


A total of 88 lumbar facet joints from L1 to S1 were clearly visualized in the 10 patients. Both the ultrasound and the CT measurements showed the same average depth and lateral distance to the reference point (P > 0.05). And 86.5% of the facet joint injections (64/74) were correctly performed under the ultrasound guidance in the first time. The exact placement of the needle tips was evaluated by CT. After the lumbar facet joint injections, the clinical efficiency was almost the same in the ultrasound-guided group as in the CT group.


The lumbar facet joint space can be accurately demonstrated by ultrasound. The ultrasound-guided facet joint injection in the lumbar spine obtained almost the same satisfactory feasibility, accuracy and clinical efficiency compared with low dose CT. Ultrasound technique could provide the real-time monitoring.

Trial registration

This study was registered on Chinese Clinical Trial Registry (ChiCTR1800018819​, retrospective registered on 11/10/2018).
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