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Ann Rheum Dis. 1989 Aug; 48(8): 628–631.
PMCID: PMC1003836

Pathogenesis of square bodies in ankylosing spondylitis.


The pathogenesis of squaring of the vertebral bodies is analysed in a 25 year old patient with ankylosing spondylitis. The squaring derives from a straightening of the anterior contour. The disease was diagnosed five years before the patient's death. The remodelling of bone that explains squaring of the vertebral bodies is described for the first time. Histologically, an acute and chronic spondylitis with destruction and simultaneous rebuilding of the cortex and the spongiosa of the vertebral bodies has been found. The development of square vertebral bodies is shown to be based on a combination of a destructive osteitis and repair.

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  • ROMANUS R, YDEN S. Destructive and ossifying spondylitic changes in rheumatoid ankylosing spondylitis (pelvo-spondylitis ossificans). Acta Orthop Scand. 1952;22(2):88–99. [PubMed]
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  • Ball J. Enthesopathy of rheumatoid and ankylosing spondylitis. Ann Rheum Dis. 1971 May;30(3):213–223. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
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  • Cawley MI, Chalmers TM, Kellgren JH, Ball J. Destructive lesions of vertebral bodies in ankylosing spondylitis. Ann Rheum Dis. 1972 Sep;31(5):345–358. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Aufdermaur M, Spycher M. Pathogenesis of osteochondrosis juvenilis Scheuermann. J Orthop Res. 1986;4(4):452–457. [PubMed]

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