European Spine Journal

, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 377–383 | Cite as

Osteochondritis (Calvé’s disease) of a vertebral body—a rare form of vertebra plana

  • Tamas Shisha
  • Sandor Kiss
  • Peter Pal Varga
  • Laszlo Bucsi
  • Karoly Pap
  • George Szoke
Case Report


In 1925, Calvé described vertebra plana as an aseptic necrosis of bone involving a single vertebral body of the spinal column. This theory was set aside in 1954 by Compere, who concluded that vertebra plana is caused by eosinophilic granuloma and not by osteochondritis as suggested by Calvé. It has been well documented in literature that many factors other than eosinophilic granuloma can cause vertebra plana-like destruction of the vertebral body. However, the definition of the terms was not clear, and there was no consensus on whether to call these cases vertebra plana or not. Some authors did, some did not. Anyhow, no publication so far has reported on osteochondritis as a rare cause of vertebra plana. The case of a 12-year-old girl, presented here by the authors, suggests this explanation. Some important conclusions can be drawn from this regarding the nomenclature, the diagnosis, and the therapy.


Vertebra plana Calvé’s disease Osteochondritis Eosinophilic granuloma 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tamas Shisha
    • 1
  • Sandor Kiss
    • 1
  • Peter Pal Varga
    • 2
  • Laszlo Bucsi
    • 3
  • Karoly Pap
    • 1
  • George Szoke
    • 1
  1. 1.Semmelweis UniversityOrthopaedic surgeryBudapestHungary
  2. 2.National Centre of Spine SurgeryBudapestHungary
  3. 3.Fejer County St. George HospitalOrthopaedic surgeryBudapestHungary

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