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Eur Radiol. 2001;11(5):845-8.

Multisegmental pneumatocysts of the lumbar spine mimic osteolytic lesions.

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Department of Radiology, University of Innsbruck, Anichstrasse 35, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria.


Circumscribed radiolucencies within the vertebral bones can be due to a variety of changes including benign and malignant tumours or tumour-like lesions. Radiolucencies due to degenerative intraosseous pneumatocyst are very uncommon but have to be taken into the differential diagnosis in well-circumscribed lytic lesions of the vertebral bodies. We describe the first case of multisegmental pneumatocysts in the lumbar spine mimicking osteolytic lesions. On computed tomography, the air-equivalent attenuation values of the lesions and the close vicinity to the degenerated vertebral endplates with vacuum phenomenon led to the correct diagnosis.

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