Article Abstract

Assessing the effects of lumbar posterior stabilization and fusion to vertebral bone density in stabilized and adjacent segments by using Hounsfield unit

Authors: Özgür Demir, Erol Öksüz, Fatih Ersay Deniz, Osman Demir


Background: Computed tomography (CT) with Hounsfield unit (HU) is being used with increasing frequency for determining bone density. Established correlations between HU and bone density have been shown in the literature. The aim of this retrospective study was to determine the bone density changes of the stabilized and adjacent segment vertebral bodies by comparing HU values before and after lumbar posterior stabilization.
Methods: Sixteen patients who had similar diagnosis of lumbar spondylosis and stenosis were evaluated in this study. Same surgical procedures were performed to all of the patients with L2-3-4-5 transpedicular screw fixation, fusion and L3-4 total laminectomy. Bone mineral density measurements were obtained with clinical CT. Measurements were obtained from stabilized and adjacent segment vertebral bodies. Densities of vertebral bodies were evaluated with HU before the surgeries and approximately one year after the surgeries. The preoperative HU value of each vertebra was compared with postoperative HU value of the same vertebrae by using statistical analysis.
Results: The HU values of vertebra in the stabilized and adjacent segments consistently decreased after the operations. There were significant differences between the preoperative HU values and the postoperative HU values of the all evaluated vertebral bodies in the stabilized and adjacent segments. Additionally first sacral vertebra HU values were found to be significantly higher than lumbar vertebra HU values in the preoperative group and postoperative group.
Conclusions: Decrease in the bone density of the adjacent segment vertebral bodies may be one of the major predisposing factors for adjacent segment disease (ASD).