Fluid sign (vertebral collapse)

The fluid sign is one of the radiological features of osteoporotic fractures, and can be helpful in distinguishing them from metastatic vertebral fractures, as it is seen more often in osteoporotic fractures and is rarely seen in metastatic fractures 1. It is not as helpful as identifying a paravertebral/epidural soft tissue mass or infiltration of the pedicle or to other vertebrae, but those features are not always present in metastatic disease.

Pathology

The finding correlates with vertebral osteonecrosis 1,2. The pathogenesis may be avascular necrosis (Kümmell disease) or due to acute insufficiency fracture in the setting of osteoporosis 1.

Radiographic features

MRI

The "fluid sign" in vertebral collapse is defined as a horizontal focal, linear, or triangular area of fluid intensity (hypointense on T1, hyperintense on T2/STIR) on a background of diffuse marrow edemalike signal in the vertebral body because of acute collapse.

Article information

rID: 24670
Section: Signs
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • MR fluid sign

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1
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