Update: We are now collecting Disclosures from all users who edit content. You will be prompted to update these when you next edit content or you can complete your disclosures at any time in your user profile. This has been reflected in an updated terms-of-use.

Ivory vertebra

Last revised by Dr Pir Abdul Ahad Aziz Qureshi on 16 Jan 2022

The ivory vertebra (also known as ivory vertebra sign) sign refers to the diffuse and homogeneous increase in opacity of a vertebral body that otherwise retains its size and contours and with no change in the opacity and size of adjacent intervertebral discs.

The cause for an ivory vertebra depends on the age of the patient 1.

Rarely, the ivory vertebra can also be seen in 4:

A helpful mnemonic is LIMPH

Plain radiographs and CT will demonstrate diffuse sclerosis of the vertebral body with variable involvement of the posterior vertebral elements. 

MRI demonstrates hypointense signals within the corresponding vertebra which is directly proportional to the degree of sclerosis of the vertebral body.

ADVERTISEMENT: Supporters see fewer/no ads

Cases and figures

  • Case 1: from breast cancer metastasis
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 2: lymphoma
    Drag here to reorder.
  •  Case 3: Ewing's sarcoma
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 4: from prostate cancer
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 5: from breast cancer
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 6: from prostate cancer
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 7: from prostate cancer
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 8: from prostatic cancer
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Updating… Please wait.

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

     Thank you for updating your details.