European Radiology

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 459-468

Cervical spine and crystal-associated diseases: imaging findings

  • Antoine FeydyAffiliated withService de Radiologie B, Hôpital Cochin Email author 
  • , Frédéric LiotéAffiliated withFédération de Rhumatologie, Hôpital Lariboisière
  • , Robert CarlierAffiliated withRadiologie, Hôpital Raymond Poincaré
  • , Alain ChevrotAffiliated withService de Radiologie B, Hôpital Cochin
  • , Jean-Luc DrapéAffiliated withService de Radiologie B, Hôpital Cochin

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The cervical spine may be specifically involved in crystal-associated arthropathies. In this article, we focus on the three common crystals and diseases: hydroxyapatite crystal deposition disease, calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate (CPPD) deposition disease, and monosodium urate crystals (gout). The cervical involvement in crystal-associated diseases may provoke a misleading clinical presentation with acute neck pain, fever, or neurological symptoms. Imaging allows an accurate diagnosis in typical cases with calcific deposits and destructive lesions of the discs and joints. Most of the cases are related to CPPD or hydroxyapatite crystal deposition; gout is much less common.


Spine, diseases Spine, inflammation Spine, radiography Calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate deposition disease Hydroxyapatite crystal deposition disease Gout