Intravertebral disc vacuum phenomena

Case contributed by Dr Benoudina Samir


Construction worker. Chronic back pain.

Patient Data

Age: 45 years
Gender: Male

Lumbar intervertebral discs vacuum phenomena. Very clear at the L2-L3 intervertebral disc. Less evident in L3-L4 and L4-L5.

Annotated image


Lumbar intervertebral discs vacuum phenomena.

Case Discussion

Vacuum phenomena involving the intervertebral discs are a result of the accumulation of gas (principally nitrogen) within the crevices of the intervertebral discs or adjacent vertebrae. It is a common finding in a degenerative intervertebral disc. Other processes can lead to discs containing gas: vertebral osteomyelitis, Schmorl node formation, spondylosis deformans, and vertebral collapse with osteonecrosis.

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Case information

rID: 51698
Published: 3rd Mar 2017
Last edited: 19th Oct 2020
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included