Winking owl sign

Case contributed by Dr Ian Bickle


Low back pain. Known malignancy.

Patient Data

Age: 73
Gender: Female

The left pedicle of L4 is absent. The right L4 pedicle is present.

Case Discussion

The winking owl sign is given to the appearances on AP projection of the absence of one pedicle of a vertebra body.

It is almost always due to destruction from a metastatic deposit although other causes of pedicular destruction or its congenital absence will give similar appearances.

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Case information

rID: 45931
Published: 14th Jun 2016
Last edited: 14th Aug 2019
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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