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Schmorl Node
Kevin R. Moore, MD
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KEY FACTS

  • Terminology

    • Imaging

      • Top Differential Diagnoses

        • Clinical Issues

          • Diagnostic Checklist

            TERMINOLOGY

            • Abbreviations

              • Schmorl node (SN)
            • Synonyms

              • Intravertebral disc herniation
            • Definitions

              • Node within vertebral body due to vertical disc extension through weakened vertebral body endplate

            IMAGING

            • General Features

              • Radiographic Findings

                • CT Findings

                  • MR Findings

                    • Nuclear Medicine Findings

                      • Imaging Recommendations

                        DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS

                          PATHOLOGY

                          • General Features

                            • Staging, Grading, & Classification

                              • Gross Pathologic & Surgical Features

                                • Microscopic Features

                                  CLINICAL ISSUES

                                  • Presentation

                                    • Demographics

                                      • Natural History & Prognosis

                                        • Treatment

                                          DIAGNOSTIC CHECKLIST

                                          • Consider

                                            • Image Interpretation Pearls

                                              Selected References

                                              1. Sandelich SM et al: An unusual cause of back pain in a 10-year-old girl. Pediatr Emerg Care. 33(5):352-55, 2017
                                              2. Tomasian A et al: Benign spine lesions: advances in techniques for minimally invasive percutaneous treatment. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 38(5):852-61, 2017
                                              3. Mattei TA et al: Schmorl's nodes: current pathophysiological, diagnostic, and therapeutic paradigms. Neurosurg Rev. 37(1):39-46, 2014
                                              4. Abu-Ghanem S et al: Acute schmorl node in dorsal spine: an unusual cause of a sudden onset of severe back pain in a young female. Asian Spine J. 7(2):131-5, 2013
                                              5. Nagashima M et al: Risk factors for lumbar disc degeneration in high school American football players: a prospective 2-year follow-up study. Am J Sports Med. 41(9):2059-64, 2013
                                              6. Mok FP et al: ISSLS prize winner: prevalence, determinants, and association of Schmorl nodes of the lumbar spine with disc degeneration: a population-based study of 2449 individuals. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 35(21):1944-52, 2010
                                              7. Dar G et al: Demographical aspects of Schmorl nodes: a skeletal study. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 34(9):E312-5, 2009
                                              8. Wu HT et al: Edematous Schmorl's nodes on thoracolumbar MR imaging: characteristic patterns and changes over time. Skeletal Radiol. 35(4):212-9, 2006
                                              9. Coulier B: Giant fatty Schmorl's nodes: CT findings in four patients. Skeletal Radiol. 34(1):29-34, 2005
                                              10. Peng B et al: The pathogenesis of Schmorl's nodes. J Bone Joint Surg Br. 85(6):879-82, 2003
                                              11. Yamaguchi T et al: Schmorl's node developing in the lumbar vertebra affected with metastatic carcinoma: correlation magnetic resonance imaging with histological findings. Spine. 28(24):E503-5, 2003
                                              12. Hauger O et al: Giant cystic Schmorl's nodes: imaging findings in six patients. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 176(4):969-72, 2001
                                              13. Wagner AL et al: Relationship of Schmorl's nodes to vertebral body endplate fractures and acute endplate disk extrusions. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 21(2):276-81, 2000
                                              14. Grive E et al: Radiologic findings in two cases of acute Schmorl's nodes. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 20(9):1717-21, 1999
                                              15. Silberstein M et al: Spinal Schmorl's nodes: sagittal sectional imaging and pathological examination. Australas Radiol. 43(1):27-30, 1999
                                              16. Fahey V et al: The pathogenesis of Schmorl's nodes in relation to acute trauma. An autopsy study. Spine. 23(21):2272-5, 1998
                                              17. Seymour R et al: Magnetic resonance imaging of acute intraosseous disc herniation. Clin Radiol. 53(5):363-8, 1998
                                              18. Swischuk LE et al: Disk degenerative disease in childhood: Scheuermann's disease, Schmorl's nodes, and the limbus vertebra: MRI findings in 12 patients. Pediatr Radiol. 28(5):334-8, 1998
                                              19. Tribus CB: Scheuermann's kyphosis in adolescents and adults: diagnosis and management. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 6(1):36-43, 1998
                                              20. Stabler A et al: MR imaging of enhancing intraosseous disk herniation (Schmorl's nodes). AJR Am J Roentgenol. 168(4):933-8, 1997
                                              21. Takahashi K et al: Schmorl's nodes and low-back pain. Analysis of magnetic resonance imaging findings in symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. Eur Spine J. 4(1):56-9, 1995
                                              22. Hamanishi C et al: Schmorl's nodes on magnetic resonance imaging. Their incidence and clinical relevance. Spine. 19(4):450-3, 1994
                                              23. Jensen MC et al: Magnetic resonance imaging of the lumbar spine in people without back pain. N Engl J Med. 331(2):69-73, 1994
                                              24. Takahashi K et al: A large painful Schmorl's node: a case report. J Spinal Disord. 7(1):77-81, 1994
                                              25. Sward L: The thoracolumbar spine in young elite athletes. Current concepts on the effects of physical training. Sports Med. 13(5):357-64, 1992
                                              26. Walters G et al: Magnetic resonance imaging of acute symptomatic Schmorl's node formation. Pediatr Emerg Care. 7(5):294-6, 1991
                                              27. Mclain R et al: An unusual presentation of a Schmorl's node. Report of a case. Spine. 15(3):247-50, 1990
                                              28. Sward L et al: Back pain and radiologic changes in the thoraco-lumbar spine of athletes. Spine. 15(2):124-9, 1990
                                              29. McFadden KD et al: End-plate lesions of the lumbar spine. Spine. 14(8):867-9, 1989
                                              30. Roberts S et al: Biochemical and structural properties of the cartilage end-plate and its relation to the intervertebral disc. Spine. 14(2):166-74, 1989
                                              31. Kagen S et al: Focal uptake on bone imaging in an asymptomatic Schmorl's node. Clin Nucl Med. 13(8):615-6, 1988
                                              32. Kornberg M: MRI diagnosis of traumatic Schmorl's node. A case report. Spine. 13(8):934-5, 1988
                                              33. Yasuma T et al: Schmorl's nodes. Correlation of X-ray and histological findings in postmortem specimens. Acta Pathol Jpn. 38(6):723-33, 1988
                                              34. Malmivaara A et al: Plain radiographic, discographic, and direct observations of Schmorl's nodes in the thoracolumbar junctional region of the cadaveric spine. Spine. 12(5):453-7, 1987
                                              35. Saluja G et al: Schmorl's nodes (intravertebral herniations of intervertebral disc tissue) in two historic British populations. J Anat. 145:87-96, 1986
                                              36. Lipson SJ et al: Symptomatic intravertebral disc herniation (Schmorl's node) in the cervical spine. Ann Rheum Dis. 44(12):857-9, 1985
                                              37. Deeg HJ: Schmorl's nodule. N Engl J Med. 298(1):57, 1978
                                              38. Resnick D et al: Intervertebral disc abnormalities associated with vertebral metastasis: observations in patients and cadavers with prostatic cancer. Invest Radiol. 13(3):182-90, 1978
                                              39. Resnick D et al: Intravertebral disk herniations: cartilaginous (Schmorl's) nodes. Radiology. 126(1):57-65, 1978
                                              40. Hilton RC et al: Vertebral end-plate lesions (Schmorl's nodes) in the dorsolumbar spine. Ann Rheum Dis. 35(2):127-32, 1976
                                              41. Smith DM: Acute back pain associated with a calcified Schmorl's node: a case report. Clin Orthop. (117):193-6, 1976
                                              42. Boukhris R et al: Schmorl's nodes and osteoporosis. Clin Orthop. 0(104):275-80, 1974
                                              Related Anatomy
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                                              Related Differential Diagnoses
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                                              References
                                              Tables

                                              Tables

                                              KEY FACTS

                                              • Terminology

                                                • Imaging

                                                  • Top Differential Diagnoses

                                                    • Clinical Issues

                                                      • Diagnostic Checklist

                                                        TERMINOLOGY

                                                        • Abbreviations

                                                          • Schmorl node (SN)
                                                        • Synonyms

                                                          • Intravertebral disc herniation
                                                        • Definitions

                                                          • Node within vertebral body due to vertical disc extension through weakened vertebral body endplate

                                                        IMAGING

                                                        • General Features

                                                          • Radiographic Findings

                                                            • CT Findings

                                                              • MR Findings

                                                                • Nuclear Medicine Findings

                                                                  • Imaging Recommendations

                                                                    DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS

                                                                      PATHOLOGY

                                                                      • General Features

                                                                        • Staging, Grading, & Classification

                                                                          • Gross Pathologic & Surgical Features

                                                                            • Microscopic Features

                                                                              CLINICAL ISSUES

                                                                              • Presentation

                                                                                • Demographics

                                                                                  • Natural History & Prognosis

                                                                                    • Treatment

                                                                                      DIAGNOSTIC CHECKLIST

                                                                                      • Consider

                                                                                        • Image Interpretation Pearls

                                                                                          Selected References

                                                                                          1. Sandelich SM et al: An unusual cause of back pain in a 10-year-old girl. Pediatr Emerg Care. 33(5):352-55, 2017
                                                                                          2. Tomasian A et al: Benign spine lesions: advances in techniques for minimally invasive percutaneous treatment. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 38(5):852-61, 2017
                                                                                          3. Mattei TA et al: Schmorl's nodes: current pathophysiological, diagnostic, and therapeutic paradigms. Neurosurg Rev. 37(1):39-46, 2014
                                                                                          4. Abu-Ghanem S et al: Acute schmorl node in dorsal spine: an unusual cause of a sudden onset of severe back pain in a young female. Asian Spine J. 7(2):131-5, 2013
                                                                                          5. Nagashima M et al: Risk factors for lumbar disc degeneration in high school American football players: a prospective 2-year follow-up study. Am J Sports Med. 41(9):2059-64, 2013
                                                                                          6. Mok FP et al: ISSLS prize winner: prevalence, determinants, and association of Schmorl nodes of the lumbar spine with disc degeneration: a population-based study of 2449 individuals. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 35(21):1944-52, 2010
                                                                                          7. Dar G et al: Demographical aspects of Schmorl nodes: a skeletal study. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 34(9):E312-5, 2009
                                                                                          8. Wu HT et al: Edematous Schmorl's nodes on thoracolumbar MR imaging: characteristic patterns and changes over time. Skeletal Radiol. 35(4):212-9, 2006
                                                                                          9. Coulier B: Giant fatty Schmorl's nodes: CT findings in four patients. Skeletal Radiol. 34(1):29-34, 2005
                                                                                          10. Peng B et al: The pathogenesis of Schmorl's nodes. J Bone Joint Surg Br. 85(6):879-82, 2003
                                                                                          11. Yamaguchi T et al: Schmorl's node developing in the lumbar vertebra affected with metastatic carcinoma: correlation magnetic resonance imaging with histological findings. Spine. 28(24):E503-5, 2003
                                                                                          12. Hauger O et al: Giant cystic Schmorl's nodes: imaging findings in six patients. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 176(4):969-72, 2001
                                                                                          13. Wagner AL et al: Relationship of Schmorl's nodes to vertebral body endplate fractures and acute endplate disk extrusions. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 21(2):276-81, 2000
                                                                                          14. Grive E et al: Radiologic findings in two cases of acute Schmorl's nodes. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 20(9):1717-21, 1999
                                                                                          15. Silberstein M et al: Spinal Schmorl's nodes: sagittal sectional imaging and pathological examination. Australas Radiol. 43(1):27-30, 1999
                                                                                          16. Fahey V et al: The pathogenesis of Schmorl's nodes in relation to acute trauma. An autopsy study. Spine. 23(21):2272-5, 1998
                                                                                          17. Seymour R et al: Magnetic resonance imaging of acute intraosseous disc herniation. Clin Radiol. 53(5):363-8, 1998
                                                                                          18. Swischuk LE et al: Disk degenerative disease in childhood: Scheuermann's disease, Schmorl's nodes, and the limbus vertebra: MRI findings in 12 patients. Pediatr Radiol. 28(5):334-8, 1998
                                                                                          19. Tribus CB: Scheuermann's kyphosis in adolescents and adults: diagnosis and management. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 6(1):36-43, 1998
                                                                                          20. Stabler A et al: MR imaging of enhancing intraosseous disk herniation (Schmorl's nodes). AJR Am J Roentgenol. 168(4):933-8, 1997
                                                                                          21. Takahashi K et al: Schmorl's nodes and low-back pain. Analysis of magnetic resonance imaging findings in symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. Eur Spine J. 4(1):56-9, 1995
                                                                                          22. Hamanishi C et al: Schmorl's nodes on magnetic resonance imaging. Their incidence and clinical relevance. Spine. 19(4):450-3, 1994
                                                                                          23. Jensen MC et al: Magnetic resonance imaging of the lumbar spine in people without back pain. N Engl J Med. 331(2):69-73, 1994
                                                                                          24. Takahashi K et al: A large painful Schmorl's node: a case report. J Spinal Disord. 7(1):77-81, 1994
                                                                                          25. Sward L: The thoracolumbar spine in young elite athletes. Current concepts on the effects of physical training. Sports Med. 13(5):357-64, 1992
                                                                                          26. Walters G et al: Magnetic resonance imaging of acute symptomatic Schmorl's node formation. Pediatr Emerg Care. 7(5):294-6, 1991
                                                                                          27. Mclain R et al: An unusual presentation of a Schmorl's node. Report of a case. Spine. 15(3):247-50, 1990
                                                                                          28. Sward L et al: Back pain and radiologic changes in the thoraco-lumbar spine of athletes. Spine. 15(2):124-9, 1990
                                                                                          29. McFadden KD et al: End-plate lesions of the lumbar spine. Spine. 14(8):867-9, 1989
                                                                                          30. Roberts S et al: Biochemical and structural properties of the cartilage end-plate and its relation to the intervertebral disc. Spine. 14(2):166-74, 1989
                                                                                          31. Kagen S et al: Focal uptake on bone imaging in an asymptomatic Schmorl's node. Clin Nucl Med. 13(8):615-6, 1988
                                                                                          32. Kornberg M: MRI diagnosis of traumatic Schmorl's node. A case report. Spine. 13(8):934-5, 1988
                                                                                          33. Yasuma T et al: Schmorl's nodes. Correlation of X-ray and histological findings in postmortem specimens. Acta Pathol Jpn. 38(6):723-33, 1988
                                                                                          34. Malmivaara A et al: Plain radiographic, discographic, and direct observations of Schmorl's nodes in the thoracolumbar junctional region of the cadaveric spine. Spine. 12(5):453-7, 1987
                                                                                          35. Saluja G et al: Schmorl's nodes (intravertebral herniations of intervertebral disc tissue) in two historic British populations. J Anat. 145:87-96, 1986
                                                                                          36. Lipson SJ et al: Symptomatic intravertebral disc herniation (Schmorl's node) in the cervical spine. Ann Rheum Dis. 44(12):857-9, 1985
                                                                                          37. Deeg HJ: Schmorl's nodule. N Engl J Med. 298(1):57, 1978
                                                                                          38. Resnick D et al: Intervertebral disc abnormalities associated with vertebral metastasis: observations in patients and cadavers with prostatic cancer. Invest Radiol. 13(3):182-90, 1978
                                                                                          39. Resnick D et al: Intravertebral disk herniations: cartilaginous (Schmorl's) nodes. Radiology. 126(1):57-65, 1978
                                                                                          40. Hilton RC et al: Vertebral end-plate lesions (Schmorl's nodes) in the dorsolumbar spine. Ann Rheum Dis. 35(2):127-32, 1976
                                                                                          41. Smith DM: Acute back pain associated with a calcified Schmorl's node: a case report. Clin Orthop. (117):193-6, 1976
                                                                                          42. Boukhris R et al: Schmorl's nodes and osteoporosis. Clin Orthop. 0(104):275-80, 1974