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J Bone Joint Surg Br. 1994 Sep;76(5):757-64.

Vertebral bone-marrow changes in degenerative lumbar disc disease. An MRI study of 74 patients with low back pain.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, School of Medicine, Chiba University, Japan.


We carried out MRI studies of 74 patients with end-plate and vertebral bone-marrow changes associated with degenerative lumbar disc disease. Abnormalities were classified into type A, with decreased signal intensities, and type B, with increased signal intensities on T1-weighted spin-echo images. Twenty-seven (73%) of the 37 patients with type-A changes had low back pain, in contrast to only four (11%) of the 37 patients with type-B changes. Lateral flexion-extension radiographs showed hypermobility in 26 patients (70%) with type-A changes, and in only six (16%) with type-B changes. Type-A changes correlated with segmental hypermobility and low back pain, while type-B changes were more common in patients with stable degenerative disc disease.

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