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Joint Bone Spine
Volume 73, n° 3
pages 293-297 (mai 2006)
Doi : 10.1016/j.jbspin.2005.03.023
Received : 21 September 2004 ;  accepted : 31 Mars 2005
Antero-postero differences in cortical thickness and cortical porosity of T12 to L5 vertebral bodies

Nicola L. Fazzalari a, b, c, Ian H. Parkinson a, b, c, , Quentin A. Fogg d, Peter Sutton-Smith a, b, c
a Division of Tissue Pathology, Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science, Frome Road, Adelaide, South Australia 5000, Australia 
b Bone and Joint Research Laboratory, Hanson Institute, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia 
c Department of Pathology, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia 
d Department of Anatomy and Histology, Flinders University, Bedford Park, South Australia, Australia 

*Corresponding author. Tel.: +61 88 222 3647; fax: +61 88 222 3293.

Objective. - This study will investigate interrelationships between the cortical shell and cancellous bone trabecular thickness, in vertebral bodies.

Methods. - One hundred and sixty vertebral bodies from T12 to L5 were obtained at autopsy. The average age of the cohort was 59.3±22.1 years (range=20-94 years). Cortical thickness, cortical porosity and trabecular thickness from the adjacent cancellous bone were measured.

Results. - At the mid-vertebral body anterior cortical thickness was significantly greater than posterior cortical thickness (524±352 vs. 370±283 μm, respectively, P <0.0001) and mid-anterior cortical porosity was significantly less than mid-posterior cortical porosity (24±14% vs. 32±16%, respectively, P <0.0001). There were no anterior/posterior differences in trabecular thickness of the cancellous bone adjacent to the cortical walls.

Conclusion. - This study provides a novel perspective of T12 to L5 vertebral body bone, where measurement of cortical thickness and cortical porosity in a cohort of skeletally normal individuals revealed structural differences between load bearing anterior and posterior cortical walls. The data suggest that modulators of change to vertebral body bone may affect the cortical and trabecular bone differently. The relationships between cortical and cancellous bone suggest that the middle sectors of the vertebral body play a critical role in load bearing.

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Keywords : Cortical thickness, Cortical porosity, Trabecular thickness, Vertebral bodies

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