Schmörl node (annotated MRI)

Case contributed by Dr Alami Badreeddine

Presentation

Low back pain.

Patient Data

Age: 80
MRI

Both T1-WI and T2-WI show a well-defined hypo-intense lesion in the lower endplate of L3 (arrow). The lesion is connected with the L3-L4 intervertebral disc.

Case Discussion

Schmörl nodes represent vertical disk prolapses through areas of weakness in the vertebral endplate. Schmörl nodes are often multiple and occur predominantly in the thoracolumbar spine. Recently formed Schmörl nodes can be painful and may be indistinguishable from inflammatory or tumoral disease in terms of signal intensity. The identification of endplate defects or intranuclear cleft bending of the disk at either CT or MR imaging is helpful in making the correct diagnosis of acute Schmörl nodes.

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Case information

rID: 28632
Published: 14th Mar 2016
Last edited: 7th Jun 2018
Inclusion in quiz mode: Excluded

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