Ivory vertebra

Case contributed by Dr Nikos Karapasias


Known prostate cancer

Patient Data

Age: 80 years
Gender: Male

AP radiograph of the lumbar spine shows a uniformly increased opacity of entire L4 vertebra.  The vertebral body maintains it the size and contour. This finding represents the typical ivory vertebra sign, due to osteoblastic bone metastasis (in this patient from known prostate cancer). Note the increased opacity of left sacroiliac joint territory and slightly sclerotic sacrum (multiple osteoblastic bone metastases)

Case Discussion

The term ivory vertebra refers to a single sclerotic vertebra, that stands out due to its very dense white appearances, like the ivory tusks of an elephant.   Although most commonly due to a sclertoic bony metastatsis, these apperances can also occur in lymphoma and Paget's disease of the bone.
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Case information

rID: 25354
Published: 21st Oct 2013
Last edited: 14th Aug 2019
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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