Vertebral body endplate

Last revised by Daniel J Bell on 5 Mar 2021

Vertebral body endplates are anatomically-discrete structures that form the interface between the vertebral bodies and the adjacent intervertebral discs. They are constituted peripherally by an epiphyseal bone ring and centrally by a cartilaginous layer. The cartilaginous layer is related to the nucleus pulposus and annulus fibrosus and has an important role in intervertebral disc nutrition 1.

The vertebral endplate capillaries are tiny branches of interosseous arteries that ramify throughout the vertebral body. The interosseous arteries branch off segmental arteries (one per vertebra) which arise directly from the aorta.

Although now generally considered as part of the vertebral body, historically they had been grouped with the intervertebral disc 3.

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