Ivory vertebra

Last revised by Joshua Yap on 13 May 2023

The ivory vertebra, also known as the ivory vertebra sign, refers to the diffuse and homogeneous increase in opacity of a vertebral body that otherwise retains its size and contours 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.

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