When Aging is Important By NextImage Medical, Where “Image is Everything”
NextImage Medical’s Chairman and CEO, Liz Griggs, comments:
Aging requests are becoming more prevalent with many of our insurance carriers and payor clients. As a value added to our customers, our Chief of Radiology and specialty reading Radiologists provide this excellent service for our clients. This is key in unique situations when the aging of an injury is critical. The read is critical and our Board Certified Radiologists’ specialty readings provide the highest quality read possible, given that aging is a vital aspect in the cost of radiology.
NextImage Medical Chief of Radiology Mark Cooper, MD comments:
Often, I am asked to determine the age of an abnormal finding using imaging modalities. Usually, MRI is the imaging study where these requests are made. The age of disc herniation is a common request.
MRI has exquisite sensitivity in identifying the amount of water that is present in various tissues. In particular, when an intervertebral disc loses its normal stature and water, or is depleted, this finding is usually due to normal aging. Although a herniated disc that is depleted may be a normal aging process, the fact that it has aged normally does not preclude a herniation from being recent or acute. These herniations are usually more recent or acute. Whether this process is due to an old or chronic disc injury or herniation cannot be unequivocally determined.
When evaluating the spine, frequently there is degenerative disease of the facet joints as well as spurs from the endplates of the vertebral bodies. These findings signify underlying long-standing disease process. There are often disc herniations in conjunction with the degenerative disease. Although a disc herniation can be recent or acute with underlying chronic disease, the above-mentioned criteria must be assessed to make a valid appraisal of whether the disc herniation is old or new.
Using the aforementioned findings in MRI enables the Radiologist to provide a sound assessment of aging of disc disease. Aging is often not thought of until an employee has been out of work for a long period of time, at which point this aging process is deemed imperative. Aging has become an increasingly requested service by many of NextImage Medical’s customers, which is why we offer this aging service to all of our clients by Board Certified Radiologists.