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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 545017, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/545017
Research Article

Endplates Changes Related to Age and Vertebral Segment

1Department of Biomechanics, Medicine, and Rehabilitation of the Locomotor Apparatus, Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirao Preto, University of Sao Paulo, Bandeirantes Avenue 3900, 14049-900 Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil
2Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirao Preto, University of Sao Paulo, Bandeirantes Avenue 3900, 14049-900 Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil

Received 20 February 2014; Revised 7 May 2014; Accepted 22 May 2014; Published 12 June 2014

Academic Editor: Vijay K. Goel

Copyright © 2014 Carlos Fernando P. S. Herrero et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Endplate separations are defined as the presence of a space between the hyaline cartilage and the cortical bone of the adjacent vertebral body. This study evaluates endplate separations from the vertebral body and intervertebral discs and verifies if endplate separation is related to age and the spinal level. Groups were formed based on age (20–40 and 41–85 years old) and the vertebral segment (T7-T8 and L4-L5 segments). Histological analysis included assessment of the length of the vertebral endplates, the number and dimensions of the separations, and orientation of the collagen fibers, in the mid-sagittal slice. Two indexes were created: the separation index (number of separations/vertebral length) and separation extension index (sum of all separations/vertebral length). The results of the study demonstrated a direct relationship between the density of separations in the endplate and two variables: age and spinal level.