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Fish vertebra

Last revised by Dr Daniel J Bell on 30 Dec 2020

Fish vertebra, also known as codfish vertebra, describes the biconcave appearance of vertebrae (especially lumbar vertebrae).

The term fish vertebrae is attributed to Fuller Albright (1900-1969), American endocrinologist. In 1941, he used the term to describe the likeness of the biconcave shape of the human vertebrae to the biconcave shape of fish vertebrae; although the species was unspecified. In 1948, Fuller Albright and Edward Reifenstein (1908-1975), an American endocrinologist, provided images of codfish vertebra to illustrate the deformation of vertebral bodies seen in postmenopausal osteoporosis 5, hence the term codfish vertebrae 6.

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Cases and figures

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