Chondroid metaplasia of paraspinal connective tissue in the degenerative spine

Sjoerd Stevens, Anouk Agten, Erika Wisanto, Melissa Lo Monaco, Jonas Verbrugghe, Annick Timmermans, Ivo Lambrichts, Frank Vandenabeele

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A 51-year-old male was routinely biopsied during a paraspinal muscle study. The biopsy sample was taken from the right erector spinae muscle at the fourth lumbar vertebra. The patient had no history of (diagnosed) major back trauma. The obtained sample was histologically analyzed (hematoxylin and eosin, safranin O), and complementary magnetic resonance imaging was performed. The biopsied sample contained chondroid tissue. Based on its location, the biopsy sample was appointed as chondroid metaplasia. Although chondroid metaplasia is not uncommon in humans, this is the first report of chondroid metaplasia within the paraspinal connective tissue. We propose a novel mechanism to explain the paraspinal chrondrogenic changes, related to spinal degeneration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-207
Number of pages4
JournalAnatomy and Cell Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019


  • Chondroid metaplasia
  • Degeneration
  • Lumbar spine
  • Muscle biopsy
  • Paraspinal


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