Nódulos de Schmorl en poblaciones del pasado. Consideraciones sobre su patogenia

  1. Carlos Emilio González Reimers 1
  2. Alejandra C. Ordóñez 1
  3. Jared Carballo Pérez 1
  4. Selene Rodríguez Caraballo 1
  5. Emilio Vacas Fumero 1
  6. Efraim Marrero Salas
  7. Matilde Mercedes Arnay de la Rosa 1
  1. 1 Universidad de La Laguna (España)
Journal:
Majorensis: Revista Electrónica de Ciencia y Tecnología

ISSN: 1697-5529

Year of publication: 2021

Issue: 17

Pages: 1-8

Type: Article

Export: RIS

Abstract

Introduction: Schmorl nodes are frequently observed, both in modern and past populations. They have been attributed to an excessive mechanical load on the spine. Case description: A T12 vertebra belonging to an adult prehispanic inhabitant of Tenerife (ca. 900 BP), recovered from commingled remains of a collective burial in Llano de Maja, Tenerife. This vertebra presents in the central part of the upper plate of the vertebral body an osteolytic lesion, measuring 15 x 8 mm and 6 mm depth, surrounded by a sclerotic rim. This lesion is compatible with a large Schmorl node. The vertebra also showed asymmetrical degenerative changes affecting the left articular surface of the pedicle, and anterior wedging (22 mm vs 29 mm). In addition, a small erosion was detected at the posterolateral right margin of the vertebral body, a lesion compatible with a lateral herniation. Discussion: Literature review shows that pathogenetic mechanisms leading to Schmorl herniation are still unclear. Although genetically conditioned alteration of fibrocartilage composition may play a role, relationship with degenerative changes, osteoporosis, or an excessive physical load are poor, besides possibly some specific practices such as riding or motorcycling (out of discussion in the present context). Conclusion: The possibility of a congenital alteration of cartilage formation, such as that described in Scheurmann disease, might explain all the changes observed in this vertebra, especially if excessive loading was also present.