Vertebra plana


  • A 42 years old lady
  • Presented with back pain and lower limb weakness for 3 weeks
  • No history of trauma
  • Associated loss of appetite and loss of weight
Radiograph of thoracolumbar spine in AP and lateral views

Radiographic findings:

  • There is exaggerated kyphosis
  • Collapsed of T12 vertebra, almost total loss of the vertebral body height
  • Reduction in T11 vertebral body height with irregular inferior end plate
  • No obvious soft tissue swelling seen.

Radiological diagnosis: Verterbra plana


  • It is a term given when a vertebral body has lost almost its entire height anteriorly and posteriorly, representing a very advanced compression fracture.
  • Mnemonics to remember the causes of vertebra plana: IMELT (Infection, Metastasis/Myeloma, Lymphoma and Trauma/Tuberculosis) and FETISH (Fracture, Eosinophilic granuloma, Tumour, Infection, Steroid, Hemangioma)

Progress of patient:

  • Subsequent investigations confirmed spinal tuberculosis in this case.


Author: radhianahassan