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Papers of the Week

2022 Mar 25

Eur Spine J

Using hierarchical unsupervised learning to integrate and reduce multi-level and multi-paraspinal muscle MRI data in relation to low back pain.


Torres-Espin A, Keller A, Johnson GTA, Fields AJ, Krug R, Ferguson AR, Hargens AR, O'Neill CW, Lotz JC, Bailey JF
Eur Spine J. 2022 Mar 25.
PMID: 35333958.


The paraspinal muscles (PSM) are a key feature potentially related to low back pain (LBP), and their structure and composition can be quantified using MRI. Most commonly, quantifying PSM measures across individual muscles and individual spinal levels renders numerous separate metrics that are analyzed in isolation. However, comprehensive multivariate approaches would be more appropriate for analyzing the PSM within an individual. To establish and test these methods, we hypothesized that multivariate summaries of PSM MRI measures would associate with the presence of LBP symptoms (i.e., pain intensity).