Int J Paleopathol 2020 03 14;28:59-68. Epub 2020 Jan 14.
School of Archaeological and Forensic Sciences, University of Bradford, Bradford, BD7 1DP, UK.
Objective: To better understand the pathogenesis of DISH, identifying early or pre-DISH lesions in the spine and investigating the relationship between spinal and extra-spinal manifestations of DISH.
Material: 44 skeletonized individuals with DISH from the WM Bass Donated Skeletal Collection.
Methods: For each vertebra, location, extension, point of origin and appearance of vertebral outgrowths were recorded. The size of the enthesophytes at the olecranon process, patella and calcaneal tuberosity was measured with digital callipers.
Results: At either end of the DISH-ankylosed segment, isolated vertical outgrowths arising from the central third of the anterior aspect of the vertebral body can usually be observed. These bone outgrowths show a well-organized external cortical layer, an internal structure of trabecular bone and usually are unaccompanied by or show minimal associated endplate degeneration. Analysis of the relationship between spinal and extra-spinal manifestations (ESM) suggests great inter-individual variability. No correlation between any ESM and the stage of spinal DISH was found.
Conclusions: Small isolated outgrowths represent the earliest stages of the spinal manifestations of DISH. The use of ESM as an indicator of DISH should be undertaken with great caution until the relationship between these two features is understood.
Significance: Improved accuracy of paleopathological diagnostic criteria of DISH.
Limitations: Small sample comprised of only individuals with DISH. FUTURE RESEARCH: micro-CT analysis to investigate the internal structure of the spinal lesions. Analysis of extra-spinal enthesophytes in individuals with and without DISH to understand their pathogenesis and association with the spinal lesions in individuals with DISH.