MRI-guided sacroiliac joint injections in children and adults: current practice and future developments

Danoob Dalili, Amanda Isaac, Jan Fritz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Common etiologies of low back pain include degenerative arthrosis and inflammatory arthropathy of the sacroiliac joints. The diagnostic workup revolves around identifying and confirming the sacroiliac joints as a pain generator. Diagnostic sacroiliac joint injections often serve as functional additions to the diagnostic workup through eliciting a pain response that tests the hypothesis that the sacroiliac joints do or do not contribute to the patient’s pain syndrome. Therapeutic sacroiliac joint injections aim to provide medium- to long-term relief of symptoms and reduce inflammatory activity and, ultimately, irreversible structural damage. Ultrasonography, fluoroscopy, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be used to guide sacroiliac joint injections. The populations that may benefit most from MRI-guided sacroiliac joint procedures include children, adolescents, adults of childbearing age, and patients receiving serial injections due to the ability of interventional MRI to avoid radiation exposure. Most clinical wide-bore MRI systems can be used for MRI-guided sacroiliac joint injections. Turbo spin echo pulse sequences optimized for interventional needle display visualize the needle tip with an error margin of < 1 mm or less. Published success rates of intra-articular sacroiliac joint drug delivery with MRI guidance range between 87 and 100%. The time required for MR-guided sacroiliac joint injections in adults range between 23–35 min and 40 min in children. In this article, we describe techniques for MRI-guided sacroiliac joint injections, share our practice of incorporating interventional MRI in the care of patients with sacroiliac joint mediated pain, discuss the rationales, benefits, and limitations of interventional MRI, and conclude with future developments.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSkeletal Radiology
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Aug 2022


  • Computed tomography
  • Imaging guidance
  • Injection
  • Magnetic resonance
  • Sacroiliac joints


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