This site is targeted at medical and radiology professionals, contains user contributed content, and material that may be confusing to a lay audience. Use of this site implies acceptance of our Terms of Use.

Hemivertebra

A hemivertebra is type of vertebral anomaly and results from a lack of formation of one half of a vertebral body. It can be a common cause of a congenital scoliosis / kyphosis or a lordosis

Epidemiology

The estimated incidence is at ~ 0.3 per 1000 live births 2.

Pathology

It falls under the spectrum of segmentational anomalies and can involve one or multiple levels.

A hemivertebra acts as a wedge within the vertebral column, resulting in curvature away from the side on which it is present. 

Associations

Recognised associations are many and include

This list supposed to be lot longer that this. If you know more, do add in with a relevant journal reference :)

Classification

A hemivertebra can be classified according to many types which include 

Attachment
  • fully segmental (free) : 
    • not attached to either vertebra above or below
    • most concerning
  • semi segmental : half segment is fused with vertebra above or below with no intervening intervertebral disc
  • non segemental : 
    • not seperated from (i.e connected to) either level above or below
    • causes less of a concern
  • incarcerated : 
    • joined by pedicles to levels above and below
    • causes less of a concern
Orientation 

Radiographic features

Antenatal ultrasound

A hemivertebra may be seen as an asymmetrical vertebral body on sagittal or coronal scanning, while on axial scanning, a focal defect may be seen at either side of the vertebral column 5.

Plain film / CT

Usually directly outlines the bony anomaly and often seen as a wedge shaped vertebral body.

Prognosis

The prognosis can be variable dependant on the type from being a progressive to non progressive deformity. The strongest negative impact is when a hemivertebra occurs at the lumbo-sacral level 7.

Differential diagnosis

For antenatal sonographic appearances consider 


Related articles

Spinal anatomy

Updating… Please wait.
Loadinganimation

Alert_accept

Error Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

Alert_accept Thank you for updating your details.