Articles

Skeletal Radiology

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 154-156

Vertebral vacuum phenomenon

A radiographic manifestation of metastatic malignancy
  • Stephen I. SchabelAffiliated withDepartment of Radiology, Medical University of South Carolina
  • , Timothy E. MooreAffiliated withDepartment of Radiology, Medical University of South Carolina
  • , Gerald M. RittenbergAffiliated withDepartment of Radiology, Medical University of South Carolina
  • , John H. StanleyAffiliated withDepartment of Radiology, Medical University of South Carolina
  • , Leighton H. JavidAffiliated withDepartment of Radiology, Medical University of South Carolina

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Abstract

Gas lucency within intervertebral disc spaces, the vertebral vacuum phenomenon (VVP) was visible radiographically in 12/42 (28%) women with adenocarcinoma of the breast metastatic to bone. In 7/12 (17%) the VVP occurred adjacent to vertebra involved with metastatic tumor and free of significant degenerative changes. Vertebral collapse occurred in all seven women, but was minimal in some when the VVP was prominent. Metastatic malignancy should be considered along with degenerative disease when the VVP is observed.

Key words

Vertebra, metastatic tumor Intervertebral disc, vacuum phenomenon Intervertebral disc, radiography