When NOT to Authorize an Additional MRI

October 24, 2012

Additional MRI States that follow the Official Disability Guidelines (ODG) do not need to authorize an additional MRI
unless there are specific changes in pathology.
The ODG states that ³MRI¹s are test of choice for patients with prior back surgery,
but for uncomplicated low back pain, with radiculopathy, not recommended until after at least one month conservative therapy,
sooner if severe or progressive neurologic deficit. Repeat MRI is not routinely recommended,
and should be reserved for a significant change in symptoms and/or findings suggestive of significant pathology
(eg, tumor, infection, fracture, neurocompression, recurrent disc herniation).² (Bigos, 1999) (Mullin, 2000)
(ACR, 2000) (AAN, 1994) (Aetna, 2004) (Airaksinen, 2006) (Chou, 2007)