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Abstract #1710

Potential metabolic markers for intervertebral disc pain

Lotz J, Majumdar S, Link T, Hu S, Keshari K, Kurhanewicz J
University of California, San Francisco

Conventional imaging methods of assessing the painful, degenerated intervertebral disc focus solely on morphologic criteria. However, it is well-known that there is a poor correlation between morphologic findings and patient symptoms. The goal of this in vitro study is to utilize quantitative high-resolution magic angle spinning (HR-MAS) NMR spectroscopy as a tool to characterize potential metabolic markers. Relative to deformity patients, those with discogenic back pain demonstrate significantly lower Proteoglycan/Lactate and Proteoglycan/collagen breakdown ratios (p<0.05). Our results suggest that spectroscopic biochemical markers may characterize processes that correlate with discogenic pain.