Posterior lumbar subcutaneous oedema

Posterior lumbar subcutaneous oedema is a very frequent finding on MRI of spine. A clinical correlation is almost always required to identify the significance of this.


  • overweight (raised BMI)
  • age (advancing age)
  • sex (more common in females)
  • posterior compartment degenerative changes (facet arthropathy)
  • infectious process
  • neoplastic causes

Radiographic features


It is the same appearance as that of oedema elsewhere in the body.

  • T2 and STIR: hyperintense signal
  • T1: hypointense signal

Due to its distribution it is sometimes referred to as tramp-stamp oedema

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Article information

rID: 23476
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Posterior lumbar subcutaneous edema
  • Posterior lumbar subcutaneous tissue edema
  • Posterior lumbar subcutaneous tissue oedema
  • Posterior lumbar subcutaneous tissue anasarca

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