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Acta Orthop Scand. 1993 Feb;64(1):37-40.

Lymph and blood supply of the human intervertebral disc. Cadaver study of correlations to discitis.

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Institute of Anatomy, Christian-Albrechts-University, Kiel, Germany.


Immunohistochemical (antibodies against laminin) and histochemical methods (Ulex europaeus lectin, 5'-nucleotidase activity) were used to describe the vascular pattern of human intervertebral discs and the surrounding tissue at different ages. Blood and lymph vessels were found in the connective tissue outside the annulus in all age groups. In the annulus blood vessels and lymphatics were detected up to 20 years of age, in the cartilage end-plate blood vessels appeared up to 7 years of age (cartilage canals). In the nucleus pulposus neither blood nor lymph vessels could be seen at any age. The occurrence of blood and lymph vessels in growing intervertebral discs help us to understand childhood discitis without simultaneous affection of the vertebral body.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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