Semin Musculoskelet Radiol 2019; 23(05): 489-496
DOI: 10.1055/s-0039-1693976
Review Article
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Vertebrae, Vertebral End Plates, and Disks: Concepts and Specific Pathologies

Alexandra S. Gersing
1  Department of Radiology, School of Medicine, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany
,
Klaus Woertler
1  Department of Radiology, School of Medicine, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany
,
Pia M. Jungmann
2  Department of Radiology, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany
,
Christine Bollwein
3  Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany
,
Benedikt J. Schwaiger
1  Department of Radiology, School of Medicine, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
25 September 2019 (online)

Abstract

Vertebral end plates cover the osseous vertebral body. The integrity of the cartilaginous end plates is of great importance for the entire vertebral segment because the vascularized end plate provides the nutrition for the avascular disk. Yet several pathologies may occur at these end plates at the embryonic stage, in childhood to adolescence (e.g., ossification and segmentation disorders of the spine, persistent notochord, slippage of the growth plate), as well as in the mature spine of an adult (degenerative disk disease), that may impact the integrity of the cartilaginous end plate and therefore lead to severe diseases of the spine. This article reviews specific congenital, developmental, and degenerative disorders of the vertebral end plate as well as both established and newly introduced imaging techniques, such as ultrashort echo time imaging based on magnetic resonance imaging, that are suitable for imaging of the end plate.