Jail bar sign (vertebral hemangioma)

Last revised by Dr Daniel J Bell on 07 May 2021

The jail bar sign refers to the vertically striated appearance seen in vertebral hemangiomas due to thickening of the bony trabeculae. It is the sagittal and coronal correlate of the polka-dot sign observed on axial imaging.

It is caused by replacement of normal cancellous bone by coarse, sclerotic trabeculae surrounded by fatty marrow or vascular spaces 1. It is also known as the corduroy sign.

History and etymology

The sign is named as the appearance mimics the appearance of prison jail bars.

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Cases and figures

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