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Polka-dot sign (vertebral hemangioma)

The polka-dot sign is the result of the replacement of the normal cancellous bone by thickened vertical trabeculae surrounded by fat marrow or vascular lacunae in vertebral intraosseous hemangiomas 2. It is the axial equivalent of the corduroy sign or the jail bar sign seen on sagittal and coronal images. On CT the dots are white on a black fatty background, whereas on MRI they are black dots on a white background (on non-fat-suppressed T1 or T2-weighted images).

History and etymology

Polka dots refer to a clothing pattern consisting of equally sized and spaced filled circles. It is generally confined to casual wear e.g. bathing suits and lingerie 1

Inspired signs

Article information

rID: 14682
Section: Signs
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Polka-dot sign (vertebral hemangioma)
  • Polka dot sign

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: polka dot pattern
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  • Case 1
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  • Case 2
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  • Case 3
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  • Case 4
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  • Case 5
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