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Eur Radiol. 2006 Feb;16(2):459-68. Epub 2005 Apr 23.

Cervical spine and crystal-associated diseases: imaging findings.

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Service de Radiologie B, Hôpital Cochin, 27, rue du faubourg Saint Jacques, 75679, Paris Cedex 14, France.


The cervical spine may be specifically involved in crystal-associated arthropathies. In this article, we focus on the three common crystals and diseases: hydroxyapatite crystal deposition disease, calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate (CPPD) deposition disease, and monosodium urate crystals (gout). The cervical involvement in crystal-associated diseases may provoke a misleading clinical presentation with acute neck pain, fever, or neurological symptoms. Imaging allows an accurate diagnosis in typical cases with calcific deposits and destructive lesions of the discs and joints. Most of the cases are related to CPPD or hydroxyapatite crystal deposition; gout is much less common.

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