Posterior lumbar subcutaneous oedema is a very frequent finding on MRI of the spine. Clinical correlation is almost always required to identify the significance of this.
Due to its distribution, it is sometimes referred to colloquially as "tramp-stamp oedema".
It is more common in elderly and female patients.
- overweight/obesity (raised BMI)
- posterior compartment degenerative changes (facet joint arthropathy)
- infectious process
- neoplastic causes
It is the same appearance as that of oedema elsewhere in the body.
- T2 and STIR: hyperintense signal
- T1: hypointense signal