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Spinal osteoporosis, MRI scan

Spinal osteoporosis, MRI scan

M230/0302

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Credit

ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Osteoporosis. Coloured sagittal (side) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan through the back of a 60-year-old patient with osteoporosis. The front of the body is at left. The spinal blocks of bone (vertebrae, brown) enclose the spinal cord (pink). Some vertebrae (orange) have collapsed due to the effects of osteoporosis. The effect of these collapses is a hunched spinal curvature (upper left). Osteoporosis is a decrease in bone density due to loss of bone material. It is mostly seen in the elderly and menopausal women. Surgical intervention can stabilise the spine. MRI scanning uses powerful magnetic fields and pulses of radio waves to produce slice images of the body.

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