Zhongping Zhang1, Queenie Chan2, Marina Portia Anthony1, Kenneth MC Cheung3, Mina Kim1
1Department of Diagnostic Radiology, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China; 2Philips Healthcare, Hong Kong, China; 3Division of Spine Surgery, Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
Intervertebral disc (IVD) degeneration is an age-related condition which is associated with a loss of matrix molecules resulting in an alteration of the biochemical and biomechanical tissue properties. Shedding light on age-related matrix alterations may help improve our understanding of the regulatory mechanisms involved during IVD degeneration. In the present work, we conducted diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) for investigating the diffusion patterns of human IVDs. Our results show that DTI-derived metrics can sensitively assess age-related matrix alterations, which may potentially be a useful biomarker in monitoring degenerative disc disease.