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Table 2 Univariate linear regression analyses, adjusted for age and sex

From: Back pain was less explained than leg pain: a cross-sectional study using magnetic resonance imaging in low back pain patients with and without radiculopathy

  Back + leg pain (0–60) Back pain (0–30) Leg pain (0–30)
(N = 134) (N = 135) (N = 137)
MRI variable n (%) β (95 % CI) p β (95 % CI) p β (95 % CI) p
Nucleus signal change           
 Max score     0.352*    0.137*    0.772*
  Hyperintense           
    with band 18 (13) ref.    ref.    ref.   
  Intermediate 119 (84) 1.21 (−4.96, 7.38) 0.699 −0.05 (−3.28, 3.18) 0.975 0.99 (−3.28, 5.27) 0.646
  Hypointense 4 (3) 9.63 (−3.67, 22.9) 0.154 6.39 (−0.58, 13.4) 0.072 3.24 (−5.98, 12.5) 0.488
 Sum score (ref. with band)   −0.23 (−1.53, 1.07) 0.724 0.24 (−0.45, 0.93) 0.490 −0.43 (−1.32, 0.45) 0.336
 Present ( − ) 123 (87) 1.44 (−4.74, 7.62) 0.645 0.12 (−3.14, 3.39) 0.941 1.05 (−3.20, 5.31) 0.625
Osteophytes           
 Absent 45 (32)          
 Sum score (ref. absent)   0.65 (−0.31, 1.61) 0.184 0.22 (−0.28, 0.73) 0.382 0.38 (−0.26, 1.03) 0.242
 Present ( − ) 96 (68) 1.55 (−3.15, 6.25) 0.469 −0.22 (−2.69, 2.25) 0.859 2.05 (−1.14, 5.25) 0.207
Disc height reduction           
  Max score     0.250*    0.631*    0.115*
   Absent 28 (20) ref.    ref.    ref.   
   Slight 40 (28) 5.06 (−0.85, 11.0) 0.093 0.98 (−2.15, 4.11) 0.536 3.97 (−0.06, 8.02) 0.054
   Moderate 63 (45) 1.89 (−3.73, 7.52) 0.507 −0.77 (−3.76, 2.32) 0.614 2.18 (−1.65, 6.00) 0.263
   Severe 10 (7) 6.81 (−2.52, 16.1) 0.151 0.15 (−4.82, 5.13) 0.951 6.64 (0.25, 13.0) 0.042
  Sum score (ref. absent)   0.36 (−0.57, 1.29) 0.447 0.08 (−0.42, 0.57) 0.757 0.24 (−0.39, 0.88) 0.453
  Present ( − ) 113 (80) 3.53 (−1.63, 8.70) 0.178 0.02 (−2.72, 2.76) 0.987 3.21 (−0.33, 6.74) 0.075
High Intensity Zone           
  Absent 42 (30)          
  Sum score (ref. absent)           
  Present ( − ) 99 (70) −0.05 (−2.40, 2.30) 0.969 −0.41 (−1.65, 0.83) 0.513 0.41 (−1.20, 2.00) 0.617
2.74 (−1.83, 7.31) 0.238 −0.66 (−3.07, 1.76) 0.593 3.53 (0.46, 6.60) 0.025
Protrusion/ herniation           
  Max score     0.548*    0.154*    0.032*
   Absent 15 (11) ref.    ref.    ref.   
   Bulging 23 (16) −1.94 (−10.3, 6.31) 0.637 0.12 (−4.19, 4.43) 0.956 −2.55 (−8.03, 2.94) 0.360
   Protrusion           
     Broad 7 (5) −2.55 (−13.5, 8.42) 0.646 0.09 (−5.61, 5.79) 0.976 −2.63 (−9.51, 4.70) 0.479
     Focal 48 (34) 2.77 (−4.49, 10.0) 0.452 1.48 (−2.29, 5.25) 0.439 1.29 (−3.56, 6.13) 0.600
   Extrusion 40 (28) 1.28 (−6.37, 8.94) 0.740 −2.41 (−6.37, 1.54) 0.229 3.21 (−1.87, 8.29) 0.214
   Sequestration 8 (6) 6.18 (−5.35, 17.7) 0.291 −1.49 (−7.48, 4.50) 0.624 7.65 (−0.05, 15.3) 0.051
  Sum score (ref. absent)   0.03 (−0.82, 0.86) 0.939 −0.24 (−0.69, 0.21) 0.290 0.29 (−0.29, 0.86) 0.328
  Present (−) 126 (89) 1.78 (−5.61, 7.97) 0.732 −0.05 (−3.63, 3.54) 0.979 0.97 (−3.70, 5.65) 0.681
MRI nerve root signa           
 Max score     0.688*    0.023*    0.104*
  No touch 52 (37) ref.    ref.    ref.   
  Touch 31 (22) 2.95 (−2.59, 8.49) 0.294 1.79 (−1.05, 4.62) 0.214 1.42 (−2.31, 5.16) 0.452
  Displacement 37 (26) 2.59 (−2.87, 8.05) 0.349 −0.98 (−3.77, 1.82) 0.490 3.45 (−0.19, 7.08) 0.063
  Compression 21 (15) 1.02 (−5.80, 7.84) 0.769 −3.90 (−7.30, −0.49) 0.025 5.09 (0.55, 9.62) 0.028
 Sum score (ref. no touch)   0.20 (−1.46, 1.86) 0.813 −0.82 (−1.67, 0.04) 0.062 0.90 (−0.20, 2.00) 0.109
 Present (−) 89 (73) 2.43 (−1.97, 6.83) 0.276 −0.49 (−2.81, 1.84) 0.679 2.97 (0.00, 5.94) 0.050
Spinal stenosis           
 Max score     0.587*    0.426*    0.894*
  Absent 123 (87) ref.         
  Relative 14 (10) 3.81 (−3.48, 11.1) 0.303 2.44 (−1.41, 6.28) 0.212 0.51 (−4.35, 5.38) 0.768
  Severe 4 (3) 1.11 (−11.4, 13.6) 0.861 −0.74 (−7.34, 5.86) 0.825 1.95 (−6.70, 10.6) 0.657
 Sum score (ref. absent)   1.24 (−1.63, 4.11) 0.393 0.45 (−1.06, 1.97) 0.554 0.52 (−1.41, 2.45) 0.594
 Present (−) 18 (13) 1.90 (−3.12, 6.92) 0.455 0.79 (−1.86, 3.44) 0.556 0.78 (−2.63, 4.18) 0.653
Modic changes           
 Type     0.242*    0.109*    0.708*
  Absent 57 (40) ref.    ref.    ref.   
  Type 1 25 (18) 0.72 (−5.29, 6.73) 0.813 1.52 (−1.63, 4.66) 0.341 −0.96 (−5.08, 3.16) 0.609
  Type 2 59 (42) −3.54 (−8.47, 1.39) 0.157 −1.73 (−4.30, 0.85) 0.187 −1.42 (−4.83, 1.99) 0.412
 Sum score (ref. abs.)   0.13 (−0.51, 0.77) 0.689 0.08 (−0.26, 0.42) 0.642 0.05 (−0.39, 0.49) 0.812
 Present (ref. abs.) 84 (60) −2.12 (−6.65, 2.41) 0.356 −0.64 (−3.03, 1.74) 0.594 −1.26 (−4.37, 1.84) 0.464
  1. β regression coefficient; CI confidence interval; ref reference. P-values less than 0.05 indicated by Italics
  2. Back + leg pain, back pain and leg pain were dependent variables. The degenerative manifestations were described blinded and standardised and expressed as ‘max scores’, ‘sum scores’ and ‘present vs. not present’. A ‘max score’ shows the number of patients with the manifestation indicated as the worst manifestation. The distribution of degenerative manifestations across the lumbar segments has been published elsewhere [6]
  3. The numbers in subgroups not adjusted for missing values
  4. *Overall p by Wald’s test
  5. aThe highest adj. R2 = 0.10 (back pain intensity), all other < 0.10