Picture frame vertebral body

Last revised by Daniel J Bell on 18 May 2021

Picture frame vertebral body is a radiologic appearance in which the cortex of the vertebral body is thickened. This sign can be seen in patients with Paget disease

It is a result of disorganized new cortical bone formation after excessive osteoclastic activity causes the resorption of normal bone.

Radiographic features

At radiography, this results in increased opacity of the cortex on all sides of the vertebral body.

Differential diagnosis

  • rugger jersey spine
    • the characteristic sclerosis is seen only at the superior and inferior vertebral endplates

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: on CT
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  • Case 1: on MRI T1WI
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