Advanced Ultrasound in Diagnosis and Therapy ›› 2021, Vol. 5 ›› Issue (3): 212-218.doi: 10.37015/AUDT.2021.200062

• Original Researchs • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Feasibility and Efficacy of the Segmental Localization of Lumbar Vertebrae by Ultrasound vs X-ray Examination: A Prospective Comparative Study

Bo Yu, MDa, Peng Huang, MDb, Yukun Luo, MDa, Mingbo Zhang, MDa,*()   

  1. aDepartment of Ultrasound, The First Medical Center, General Hospital of Chinese PLA, Beijing, China
    bDepartment of Orthopedics, The Fourth Medical Center, General Hospital of Chinese PLA, Beijing, China
  • Received:2020-10-24 Revised:2020-11-05 Accepted:2020-11-17 Online:2021-09-30 Published:2021-08-31
  • Contact: Mingbo Zhang, MD,


Objectives: To explore the feasibility and efficacy of the segmental localization of lumbar vertebrae by ultrasound (US) compared with X-ray.
Methods: From February 2019 to May 2019, 43 patients (24 males and 19 females), with an average age of 46±15 years, were prospectively enrolled in this study. Longitudinal paramedian sagittal and transverse process sections were used to determine the lumbar segments by US scan. X-ray examination was used to verify the segmentation. The time for segmentation was recorded, and the learning curve of the average localization time was analyzed.
Results: Of all the enrolled patients, 5 had lumbar segmental and alignment abnormalities, and 38 had normal lumbar vertebrae. US accurately located vertebrae in 38 normal cases and 5 abnormal cases, with a 100% accuracy rate, as verified by X-ray examination. The localization time was significantly less for US than for X-ray examination, both in normal cases and in cases with segmental or alignment abnormalities (all P < 0.001). The learning curve of US-guided segmental localization continuously decreased with an increasing number of operations and entered the plateau stage after the third operation day.
Conclusions: The US-guided segmental localization of lumbar vertebrae is an accurate new method that is efficient and easy to learn and does not require radiation.

Key words: Ultrasound; Guidance; Lumbar; Vertebrae; Localization; X-ray; Radiation