Sung M. Moon1,2, Jon H. Yoder1, Dawn M. Elliott1, Felix W. Wehrli2, Alexander C. Wright2
1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, United States; 2Laboratory for Structural NMR Imaing, Department of Radiology, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA, United States
Cartilaginous endplate of the intervertebral disc is a thin layer of hyaline cartilage, provides a mechanical barrier and a nutritional conduit between the vertebral bone and the disc. With age and degeneration, the CEP becomes thinner, calcifies, and may have reduced porosity. In this study, we have used a 3D FLASH sequence to visualize the CEP, first in specimens and then in volunteers, in order to assess the feasibility of MRI characterization of the CEP for in-vivo studies of disc degeneration.