L. Tugan Muftuler1, 2, Hon J. Yu3, Vance O. Gardner4, Dennis J. Maiman1
1Department of Neurosurgery, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, United States; 2Center for Imaging Research, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, United States; 3Department of Radiology, University of California, Irvine, CA, United States; 4Orthopaedic Education and Research Institute of Southern California, Orange, CA, United States
The IVD is avascular; nutrition is supplied via diffusion from the capillary beds of the cartilaginous vertebral body endplates. We are investigating perfusion characteristics in these capillary beds, disruption of which might cause poor nutrient delivery and lead to disc degeneration. We anticipated that the DCEMRI signal would be different in the endplate capillaries from those in bone marrow in adjacent vertebral bodies because of the different mechanisms of nutrient delivery to these two different systems. Our findings show slow wash-out in the endplates, which might be needed to maintain higher concentrations to sustain diffusion into the discs.