3 years ago

Is bone density associated with intervertebral disc pressure in healthy and degenerated discs?

The coupling of the intervertebral disc (IVD) and vertebra as a biomechanical unit suggests that changes in the distribution of pressure within the IVD (intradiscal pressure, IDP) as a result of disc degeneration can influence the distribution of bone density within the vertebra, and vice versa. The goal of this study was to assess the correspondence between IDP and bone density in the adjacent vertebrae, with emphasis on how this correspondence differs between healthy and degenerated IVDs. Bone density of the endplates and subchondral bone in regions adjacent to the anterior and posterior annulus fibrosus (aAF and pAF, respectively) and nucleus pulposus (NP) was measured via quantitative computed tomography (QCT) in 61 spine segments (T7-9, T9-11, T10-12; 71±14 years). IDP was measured in the aAF, NP, and pAF regions in 26 of the spine segments (68±16 years) while they were tested in flexed (5°) or erect postures. Disc degeneration was assessed by multiple grading schemes. No correlation was found between bone density and IDP in either posture (p>0.104). Regional variations in IDP and, to a greater extent bone density, were found to change with advancing degeneration: both IDP (p=0.045) and bone density (p=0.024) decreased in the NP region relative to the aAF region. The finding of only a modest correspondence between degeneration-associated changes in IDP and bone density may arise from complexity in how IDP relates to mechanical force transmission through the endplate and from limitations of the available IVD grading schemes in estimating the mechanical behavior of the IVD.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0021929017304566

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