Kümmell disease (avascular necrosis of the vertebrae)

Case contributed by Ahmed Abdrabou


Severe low back pain and bilateral sciatica.

Patient Data

Age: 70 years.
Gender: Female

Osteoporotic fracture of T10, T11, T12, L1 and L2 vertebrae. L1 vertebral body cleft filled with fluid inside seen in early avascular necrosis.

Case Discussion

The findings of the MR images are compatible with Kümmell disease.

Kümmell disease is avascular necrosis of vertebral bodies. It occurs in elderly and osteoporotic patients and is more common in females. A fluid cleft inside the vertebral body is the precursor to the gas inside the vertebra later on in the disease.

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