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Morphological changes in disc herniation in the lower cervical spine: an ultrastructural study

Sitte, Ingrid, Kathrein, Anton, Pedross, Florian, Freund, Martin C., Pfaller, Kristian and Archer, Charles William 2012. Morphological changes in disc herniation in the lower cervical spine: an ultrastructural study. European Spine Journal 21 (7) , pp. 1396-1409. 10.1007/s00586-012-2212-4

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Introduction The basis of disc degeneration is still unknown, but is believed to be a cell-mediated process. Apoptosis might play a major role in degenerative disc disease (DDD). The aim of this study was to correlate the viability of disc cells with the radiological degeneration grades (rDG) in disc herniation. Materials and methods Forty anterior IVD’s (C4–C7) from 39 patients with DDD were studied histologically and ultrastructurally to quantify healthy, “balloon”, chondroptotic, apoptotic and necrotic cells. Patients were classified to their rDG, as having either prolapse (P: DGII + III) and/or osteochondrosis (O: DGIV + V). Similar studies were undertaken on eight control discs. Results Cell death by necrosis (mean 35%) was common but differed not significantly in both groups. All patients with a disc prolapse DGII + III revealed balloon cells (iAF: mean 32%). All appeared alive and sometimes were hypertrophic. However, significantly less balloon cells were found in the O-Group. Control samples revealed no evidence of “balloon” cells in DGII and only a minor rate in DGIII. Conclusion According to the different rDG, quantitative changes were obvious in healthy and “balloon” cells, but not for cell death. At the moment it can only be hypothesized if “balloon” cells are part of a repair strategy and/or cause of disc herniation.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Q Science > QM Human anatomy
Uncontrolled Keywords: Intervertebral disc; Disc prolapse; Degeneration; Balloon cell; Necrosis; Chondroptosis
Publisher: Springer
ISSN: 0940-6719
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2016 22:56

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