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Table of Contents
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 71  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 167-168

Vertebral endplates, the anatomically discrete structures of the vertebral column

Department of Anatomy, Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, Karnataka, India

Date of Submission01-Sep-2022
Date of Acceptance01-Sep-2022
Date of Web Publication20-Sep-2022

Correspondence Address:
Dr. B V Murlimanju
Department of Anatomy, Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore - 575 004, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jasi.jasi_118_22

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How to cite this article:
Singh V, Murlimanju B V, Vadgaonkar R. Vertebral endplates, the anatomically discrete structures of the vertebral column. J Anat Soc India 2022;71:167-8

How to cite this URL:
Singh V, Murlimanju B V, Vadgaonkar R. Vertebral endplates, the anatomically discrete structures of the vertebral column. J Anat Soc India [serial online] 2022 [cited 2023 Mar 29];71:167-8. Available from: https://www.jasi.org.in/text.asp?2022/71/3/167/356486

The vertebral endplates are anatomically discrete structures, which act as the interface between the body of the vertebra and the intervertebral disc. They are comprised of hyaline cartilage and are situated superior and inferior to each of the intervertebral discs.[1] Their function is to offer interlocking mechanically and puts the nucleus pulposus and bulging into the middle part of the vertebra.[2] Vertebral endplates are the hardest part of the intervertebral disc, however, they fail to work once there is fracture of the body of the vertebra.[3] They provide nutrition to the intervertebral disc by offering the nucleus pulposus and annulus fibrosus with the components, which preserve the intervertebral disc, keep them flourishing, and also prevent their degeneration.[4] In a computed tomography (CT)- and cadaveric-based study, many variations of concavity of the upper and lower vertebral endplates and variations due to age were found.[5] However, the dimensions of vertebral endplates can only be measured in the disarticulated fresh cadaveric vertebrae, which may be difficult. The geometric morphological analysis can be done with a goniometer. Huang et al.[6] reported that there is no gender difference in the curvature of the vertebral endplates. Other magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and CT-based studies reported similar craniocaudal differences in the morphometry of the vertebral endplates; however, there are reports available that males have significantly larger geometric dimensions than females.[7],[8] It is also important to understand that the concavity of the vertebral endplates increases linearly with aging and age-related degenerative changes including osteophytes add to the morphological variation.[9] A subanalysis corrected to the variation due to age is likely to remove the confounding due to age-related morphological changes in vertebral endplates. Asymptomatic individual can have age-related degenerative disc changes and intervertebral disc degenerative changes alter the morphology, surface area, and curvature of the vertebral endplates in the sagittal, coronal, and transverse axis.[10] The morphological data of the vertebral endplate can be studied, which will be not only useful in the field of neurosurgery, but are also extrapolated to specialties such as neurology and orthopedics, for the management of neurological and musculoskeletal disorders, which are a frequent cause of outpatient and emergency room visits.[5],[7] The surgical implants should be devised as per the morphometric data of that particular population.[11] Characterizing the morphology of the spine among populations would allow personalizing the conditions under which each individual should be exposed, for example, at work, or also to determine a possible risk factor that explains the presence of a clinical picture in case of an injury at the spine level, thus modifying the decision-making in the clinical approach.

  References Top

Moore RJ. The vertebral endplate: Disc degeneration, disc regeneration. Eur Spine J 2006;15 Suppl 3:S333-7.  Back to cited text no. 1
Frost BA, Camarero-Espinosa S, Foster EJ. Materials for the spine: Anatomy, problems, and solutions. Materials (Basel) 2019;12:E253.  Back to cited text no. 2
Lotz JC, Fields AJ, Liebenberg EC. The role of the vertebral end plate in low back pain. Global Spine J 2013;3:153-64.  Back to cited text no. 3
Adams MA. Intervertebral Disc Tissues. In: Derby B, Akhtar R. Editors. Mechanical Properties of Aging Soft Tissues. Engineering Materials and Processes. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing; 2015.  Back to cited text no. 4
Chen H, Jiang D, Ou Y, Zhong J, Lv F. Geometry of thoracolumbar vertebral endplates of the human spine. Eur Spine J 2011;20:1814-20.  Back to cited text no. 5
Huang W, Wang H, Zhou P, Xie L, Huang Z, Zheng C, et al. Analysis of the curvature and morphologic features of the lumbar vertebral endplates through the transverse section: A radioanatomical study. World Neurosurg 2021;150:e500-10.  Back to cited text no. 6
Tang R, Gungor C, Sesek RF, Foreman KB, Gallagher S, Davis GA. Morphometry of the lower lumbar intervertebral discs and endplates: Comparative analyses of new MRI data with previous findings. Eur Spine J 2016;25:4116-31.  Back to cited text no. 7
Liu JT, Han H, Gao ZC, He CY, Cai X, Niu BB, et al. CT assisted morphological study of lumbar endplate. Zhongguo Gu Shang 2018;31:1129-35.  Back to cited text no. 8
Shao Z, Rompe G, Schiltenwolf M. Radiographic changes in the lumbar intervertebral discs and lumbar vertebrae with age. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2002;27:263-8.  Back to cited text no. 9
Louie PK, Espinoza Orías AA, Fogg LF, LaBelle M, An HS, Andersson GBJ, et al. Changes in lumbar endplate area and concavity associated with disc degeneration. spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2018;43:E1127-34.  Back to cited text no. 10
Prameela M, Prabhu LV, Murlimanju B, Pai MM, Rai R, Kumar CG. Anatomical dimensions of the typical cervical vertebrae and their clinical implications. Eur J Anat 2020;24:9-15.  Back to cited text no. 11


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