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October 3, 1977

Enlargement of One or More Vertebrae

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Radiology, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC.

JAMA. 1977;238(14):1555-1556. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280150125050


  1. Acromegaly

  2. Paget's disease


  1. Benign bone tumor (eg, hemangioma, aneurysmal bone cyst, giant cell tumor)

  2. Compensatory enlargement from non-weight-bearing (eg, paralysis)

  3. Congenital enlargement

  4. Fibrous dysplasia

  5. Hyperphosphatasia

Diagnosis  Paget's disease.

Comment  The enlarged vertebral body seen in acromegaly occurs particularly in the anteroposterior and transverse diameters. Occasionally there is added vertical height. The vertebral body enlargement is the result of new bone development from calcification of adjacent proliferating cartilage. A demarcation may be seen between the new bone growth and the original vertebral body. Initially, the intervertebral disk space is of normal height, but eventually the degenerative spondylosis associated with acromegaly causes secondary narrowing of the disk spaces, especially in the lower dorsal spine. There is accentuation of the dorsal kyphosis of the thoracic spine with compensatory hyperlordosis of the lumbar spine. The posterior aspect of the vertebral bodies, especially in the