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Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1996 Jan 15;21(2):230-4.

Histologic evidence of absorption of sequestration-type herniated disc.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Brain Research Institute, Niigata University, Japan.

Abstract

STUDY DESIGN:

The reactions to sequestrated disc fragments, which were removed surgically from 35 patients, were examined histologically.

OBJECTIVES:

To elucidate whether or not there is histologic evidence of absorption of sequestrated discs.

SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA:

Spontaneous disappearance or diminution of lumbar herniated discs in the spinal canal has been recognized, and this could be a possible explanation for relief of symptoms without surgery. The mechanism of this phenomenon is unclear.

METHODS:

Sequestrated discs removed surgically from 35 patients were examined histologically.

RESULTS:

In 30 cases, neovascularization was observed at the periphery of the sequestrated discs. Many foamy cells (macrophages) were present in the vascularized areas. In addition, immunohistochemistry revealed that many spindle-shaped, fibroblast-like cells were positive for CD68, a marker of macrophages. No fibrous scar formation was observed in any region.

CONCLUSION:

These findings suggest that organization is not a main course for this type of herniated disc and that a kind of "absorption" process occurs predominantly in the healing stage.

PMID:
8720409
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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