Prevalence of benign osseous lesions of the spine and association with spinal pain in the general population in whole body MRI

Autoři: Richard Kasch aff001;  Josephin Scheele aff001;  Mark Hancock aff002;  André Hofer aff001;  Christopher Maher aff003;  Robin Bülow aff004;  Jörn Lange aff005;  Andreas Lahm aff001;  Matthias Napp aff005;  Georgi Wassilew aff001;  Carsten Oliver Schmidt aff007
Působiště autorů: Center for Orthopedics, Trauma Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine; Clinic and Outpatient Clinic for Orthopedics and Orthopedic Surgery, University Medicine Greifswald, Greifswald, Germany aff001;  Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Macquarie University, North Ryde, Sydney, Australia aff002;  The University of Sydney, Sydney School of Public Health, NSW, Sydney, Australia aff003;  Institute of Diagnostic Radiology and Neuroradiology, University Medicine Greifswald, Greifswald, Germany aff004;  Center for Orthopedics, Trauma Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine; Department of Trauma Surgery, University Medicine Greifswald, Greifswald, Germany aff005;  Kliniken Maria Hilf Mönchengladbach, Academic Teaching Hospital of the RWTH Aachen, Mönchengladbach, Germany aff006;  Institute for Community Medicine, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt University of Greifswald, Greifswald, Germany aff007
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(9)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0219846



Benign osseous lesions of the spine are common but precise population prevalence estimates are lacking. Our study aimed to provide the first population-based prevalence estimates and examine association with back and neck pain.

Materials and methods

We used data from the population-based Study of Health in Pomerania (SHIP). Whole-body MRI examinations (1.5 Tesla: T1, T2, and TIRM weightings) were available from 3,259 participants. Readings of the spinal MRI images were conducted according to a standardized protocol by a single reader (JS). The intra-rater reliability was greater than Kappa values of 0.98. Pain measures included the seven-day prevalence of spine pain and neck pain, and average spine pain intensity due to spine pain during the past three months.


We found 1,200 (36.8%) participants with at least one osseous lesion (2,080 lesions in total). Osseous lesions were less common in men than in women (35.5% vs 38.9%; P = .06). The prevalence of osseous lesions was highest at L2 in both sexes. The prevalence of osseous lesions increased with age. Up to eight osseous lesions were observed in a single subject. Hemangioma (28%), and lipoma (13%) occurred most often. Sclerosis (1.7%), aneurysmal bone cysts (0.7%), and blastoma (0.3%) were rare. Different osseous lesions occurred more often in combination with each other. The association with back or neck pain was mostly negligible.


Osseous lesions are common in the general population but of no clinical relevance for spinal pain. The prevalence of osseous lesions varied strongly across different regions of the spine and was also associated with age and gender. Our population-based data offer new insights and assist in judging the relevance of osseous lesions observed on MRIs of patients.

Klíčová slova:

Biology and life sciences – Anatomy – Musculoskeletal system – Spine – Vertebrae – Biochemistry – Lipids – Fats – Medicine and health sciences – Diagnostic medicine – Diagnostic radiology – Magnetic resonance imaging – Signs and symptoms – Lesions – Radiology and imaging – Pathology and laboratory medicine – Oncology – Cancers and neoplasms – Blastomas – Osteoblastoma – Surgical and invasive medical procedures – Autopsy – Research and analysis methods – Imaging techniques – Social sciences – Sociology – Education – Educational attainment – Standardized tests


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