Haoran Qi, Jun Qi, Ye Sun, Junying Gao, Jianmin Sun, Guodong Wang

January 2022, pp 1 - 11 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-021-07095-6

First Online: 17 January 2022


The specific radiological feature of osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures (OVCFs) is bone marrow oedema (BME) on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). However, the relationship between BME and back pain (BP) is unclear. We investigated the value of MRI in assessing BP and discussed the relevant mechanisms by tissue biopsy.


One hundred nineteen patients with thoracolumbar OVCFs were included in this study. We divided all patients into two groups: the low-oedema group (BME ≤ 75%) and the high-oedema group (BME > 75%). To reduce the error generated in the acute phase of fracture, we separately analysed patients in phases I (within one month) and II (more than one month). We compared the differences between the groups using the Mann–Whitney U test and investigated the correlations using Spearman’s correlation test.


The degree of BP was significantly correlated with BME (p 


BME signals on MRI can accurately predict the degree of BP, and the main mechanisms are related to the stimulation of fibrous tissue.

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