Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Skeletal Radiol. 2011 Aug;40(8):1025-32. doi: 10.1007/s00256-011-1099-1. Epub 2011 Mar 3.

Pediatric cervical spine marrow T2 hyperintensity: a systematic analysis.

Author information

  • 1Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Cooper University Hospital, Candem, NJ, USA.



Hyperintense areas of vertebral bone marrow on fluid-sensitive sequences are at times seen on pediatric MRI of the cervical spine in children without suspicious clinical conditions to explain marrow pathology. Although these likely have no clinical significance they may be mistaken for pathology. The purpose of this study is to systematically evaluate the locations and patterns of marrow T2 hyperintensity in the pediatric cervical spine, with respect to age.


At 1.5 T, the C2 through T3 vertebrae of 82 children aged 0-17 years without clinically suspicious marrow abnormality were retrospectively reviewed by two musculoskeletal radiologists, who were blinded to patients' age. The frequency, intensity, and location of the foci of marrow T2 hyperintensity were recorded for each vertebra on a 12-point scoring system and were correlated with the patients' age.


Foci of marrow hyperintensity were seen in 46/82 (56.1%) patients and in 241/734 (32.8%) vertebrae. Foci were most common in C4 (42% of patients), C5 (45.7%), and C6 (37.8%). The foci of T2 hyperintensity were more common inferiorly (188 foci) and adjacent to the anterior cortex (123). Analysis revealed no significant correlation between age and marrow score (Spearman = -0.147, P = 0.19), but did find a trend towards increased presence of marrow T2 hyperintensity in the ages of most rapid growth, 8-14 years (81.5% of patients).


Vertebral body marrow T2 hyperintensity was most common endosteally and in the mid-cervical spine with a slight peak in adolescence. We therefore believe that these pediatric cervical marrow changes may be related to rapid bone growth at the point of maximal kyphotic stress.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Springer
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk