Lumbar intervertebral disks: morphometric parameters and indices

  • V.P. Danylevych Vinnitsa Pirogov National Medical University, Vinnitsa, Ukraine
  • Yu.Y. Guminskyi Vinnitsa Pirogov National Medical University, Vinnitsa, Ukraine
  • O.A. Hryhorieva Zaporizzhya State Medical University, Zaporizzhya, Ukraine
  • S.H. Danylevych Medical radiological center, Vinnytsia, Ukraine
Keywords: intervertebral disc, lumbar spine, norm, somatometry, young men, men of the first period of adulthood.


An important element of evidence-based medicine is to take into account the individual variability of the indicators of the norm of intervertebral discs, which is undoubtedly the basis for early preclinical detection of their pathology. Mathematical modeling and comprehensive assessment of the parameters of the intervertebral discs can not only predict and determine the early manifestations of pathological changes, but also help to correct them in advance. The aim of the study was to calculate and evaluate the variability of absolute, calculated and relative metric parameters of intervertebral discs in the norm with the subsequent possibility of modeling standards based on individual linear dimensions of intervertebral discs of the lumbar spine and general anthropometric characteristics (body length and weight) in young men and men of the first period of adulthood (17-28 years), both in separate age groups and in the combined group. The series of MRI scans obtained on a Phillips Achieva 1.5T scanner measured the anterior, middle and posterior vertical dimensions, maximum sagittal and frontal dimensions of the intervertebral discs L1-L2, L2-L3, L3-L4, L4-L5 segments of the spine (IVDL1-L2, IVDL2-L3, IVDL3-L4, IVDL4- L5). We calculated the average height of the intervertebral discs, cross-sectional area and volume of intervertebral discs, as well as relative indicators - the ratio of the sum of sagittal and transverse dimensions, the sum of three dimensions, cross-sectional area and volume of intervertebral discs to the average intervertebral disc height. Statistical analysis of the obtained morphometric parameters was performed in the license package “STATISTICA 6.1”. The distribution of variation series indicators, their average values and standard errors, coefficients of variation and asymmetry were evaluated. It was determined that the sums of the transverse and sagittal sizes and the sums of the three sizes increase proportionally in the caudal direction, have a distribution of indicators as close as possible to normal, and their coefficients of variation are many times smaller than for cross-sectional areas and volumes. Indicators of the ratio of the sum of the sagittal and transverse size and the sum of the three sizes to the average height of the intervertebral discs have a variability of less than 10% and correspond to the characteristics of the general population. Body weight and length have significantly higher correlation coefficients with the sums of sagittal and transverse dimensions, the sums of three dimensions and cross-sectional areas than with the partial dimensions of the intervertebral discs.


[1] Adams, M.A. (2004). Biomechanics of back pain. Acupunct. Med., 22(4), 178-188. doi: 10.1136/aim.22.4.178
[2] Alam, M.M., Waqas, M., Shallwani, H., & Javed, G. (2014). Lumbar morphometry: a study of lumbar vertebrae from a pakistani population using computed tomography scans. Asian Spine Journal, 8(4), 421-426.
[3] Bernard, K. (2010). Введение к изучению опытной медицины [An introduction to the study of experienced medicine]. М.: Красанд – M.: Krasand.
[4] Bezsmertnyi, Yu.O., & Bezsmertna, H.V. (2018). Аналіз рекомендацій з медичної реабілітації осіб з інвалідністю [Analysis of recommendations for medical rehabilitation of persons with disabilities]. Медицина болю – Pain Medicine, 3(2/1), 11-12.
[5] Bozhenko, N.L. (2015). Біль у спині: деякі аспекти діагностики та лікування [Back pain: some aspects of diagnosis and treatment]. Ліки України – Medicines of Ukraine, 190(4), 58-65.
[6] Cai, X.Y., Sun, M.S., Huang, Y.P., Liu, Z.X., Liu, C.J., Du, C.F., & Yang, Q. (2020). Biomechanical Effect of L4-L5 Intervertebral Disc Degeneration on the Lower Lumbar Spine: A Finite Element Study. Orthopaedic Surgery, 12(3), 917-930.
[7] Campbell-Kyureghyan, N., Jorgensen, M., Burr, D., & Marras, W. (2005). The prediction of lumbar spine geometry: method development and validation. Clinical Biomechanics (Bristol, Avon), 20(5), 455-464.
[8] Feng, H., Li, H., Ba, Z., Chen, Z., Li, X., & Wu, D. (2019). Morphometry evaluations of cervical osseous endplates based on three dimensional reconstructions. International Orthopaedics, 43(6), 1521-1528.
[9] Gertzbein, S.D., Seligman, J., & Holtby, R. (1985). Centrode patterns and segmental instability in degenerative disc disease. Spine (Phila Pa 1976), 10(3), 257-261. doi: 10.1097/00007632-198504000-00014
[10] Griffith, J.F., Wang, Y.X., Antonio, G.E., Choi, K.C., Yu, A., Ahuja, A.T., & Leung, P.C. (2007). Modified Pfirrmann grading system for lumbar intervertebral disc degeneration. Spine, 32(24), E708-E712.
[11] Grivas, T.B., Savvidou, O., Binos, S., Vynichakis, G., Lykouris, D., Skaliotis, M. …Velissarios, K. (2019). Morphometric characteristics of the thoracοlumbar and lumbar vertebrae in the Greek population: a computed tomography-based study on 900 vertebrae-“Hellenic Spine Society (HSS) 2017 Award Winner”. Scoliosis and Spinal Disorders, 14, 2.
[12] Hayes, A.F., & Cai, L. (2007). Further evaluating the conditional decision rule for comparing two independent means. The British Journal of Mathematical and Statistical Psychology, 60(2), 217-244.
[13] Huang, R.C., Lim, M.R., Girardi, F.P. & Cammisa Jr, F.P. (2004) The prevalence of contraindications to total disc replacement in a cohort of lumbar surgical patients. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 29(22), 2538-2541. doi: 10.1097/01.brs.0000144829.57885.20
[14] Iliescu, D.M., Bordei, P., Ionescu, E.V., Albina, S., Oprea, C., Obadă, B. … Iliescu, M.G. (2017). Anatomic-Imaging Correlations of Lumbar Disk-Vertebral Morphometric Indices. Int. J. Morphol., 35(4), 1553-1559.
[15] Kokorina, N.V., & Tatarintsev, P.B. (2010). Методические вопросы выбора тест-объектов биоиндикации с использованием алгоритма сравнения коэффициентов вариации [Methodological issues of choosing test objects for bioindication using the algorithm for comparing the coefficients of variation]. Вестник Томского государственного университета. Биология – Bulletin of Tomsk State University. Biology, 11(3), 141-151.
[16] Kornus, O.H., Kornus, A.O., Shyshchuk, V.D., & Nurein, N.M. (2018). Regional morbidity profile of the Sumy region population by diseases of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue. Journal of Geology, Geography and Geoecology, 27(3), 431-443.
[17] Leckie, S., & Kang, J. (2009). Recent advances in nucleus pulposus replacement technology. Current Orthopaedic Practice, 20(3), 222-226 doi: 10.1097/BCO.0b013e31819d5bdd
[18] Lee, K., Shin, J.S., Lee, J., Lee, Y.J., Kim, M.R., Seong, I., ... Ha, I. (2017). Lumbar intervertebral disc space height in disc herniation and degeneration patients aged 20 to 25. Int. J. Clin. Exp. Med., 10(4), 6828-6836.
[19] Lin, R.M., Jou, I.M., & Yu, C.Y. (1992). Lumbar lordosis: normal adults. Journal of the Formosan Medical Association = Taiwan yi zhi, 91(3), 329-333.
[20] Linhardt, O., Grifka, J., & Benditz, A. (2016). Are There Correlations Between Disc Degeneration and the Appearance of Lumbar Disc Herniations? Zh. Orthop. Unfall., 154(6), 595-600. doi: 10.1055/s-0042-109568
[21] Maher, C., Underwood, M., & Buchbinder, R. (2017). Non-specific low back pain. Lancet, 389, 736-747.
[22] Niankovskyi, S.L., & Plastunova, O.B. (2016). Особливості стану здоров’я, рухової активності та харчування школярів-спортсменів (огляд літератури) [Features of the state of health, motor activity and nutrition of athletes (review of literature)]. Буковинський медичний вісник – Bukovynian Medical Bulletin, 20(1), 77, 206-214.
[23] Ninel, V.G., Norkin, N.A., & Ostrovsky, V.V. (2008). Лечение хронических дискогенных болевых и радикуломиелопатических синдромов у больных с поясничным остеохондрозом [Treatment of chronic discogenic pain and radiculomyelopathic syndromes in patients with lumbar osteochondrosis]. Саратов: Новый ветер – Saratov: Novyy veter.
[24] Nordstokke, D.W. & Zumbo, B.D. (2007). A Cautionary Tale about Levene’s Tests for Equal Variances. Journal of Educational Research & Policy Studies, 7(1), 1-14.
[25] Orlov, A.I. (2014). Непараметрические критерии согласия Колмогорова, Смирнова, омега-квадрат и ошибки при их применении [Nonparametric goodness-of-fit kolmogorov, smirnov, omega-square tests and the errors in their application]. Научный журнал КубГАУ – Scientific journal of the Kuban State Agrarian University, 97(03), 1-29.
[26] Popov, G.I. (2007). Высшая математика и математическая статистика [Higher mathematics and mathematical statistics]. М.: Физическая культура – M.: Physical culture.
[27] Schmidt, H., & Reitmaier, S. (2013). Is the ovine intervertebral disc a small human one? A finite element model study. Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, 17, 229-241.
[28] Shmagel, A., Foley, R., & Ibrahim, H. (2016). Epidemiology of Chronic Low Back Pain in US Adults: Data From the 2009-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Arthritis Care & Research, 68(11), 1688-1694.
[29] Tang, R., Gungor, C., Sesek, R.F., Foreman, K.B., Gallagher, S., & Davis, G.A. (2016). Morphometry of the lower lumbar intervertebral discs and endplates: comparative analyses of new MRI data with previous findings. European Spine Journal, 25(12), 4116-4131. doi: 10.1007/s00586-016-4405-8
[30] Volkov, A.V., Goldshtein D.V., Shevelev, I.N., Konovalov, N.A., Bol’shakova, G.B., Fathudinov, T.Kh. … Zelenkov, P.V. (2007). Compression asymmetric static experimental model of degenerative disk diseases. Bull. Exp. Biol. Med., 144(1), 123-125. doi: 10.1007/s10517-007-0270-0
[31] Żurawski, A.Ł., Kiebzak, W.P., Kowalski, I.M., Śliwiński, G., & Śliwiński, Z. (2020). Evaluation of the association between postural control and sagittal curvature of the spine. PloS One, 15(10), e0241228.
How to Cite
Danylevych, V., Guminskyi, Y., Hryhorieva, O., & Danylevych, S. (2021). Lumbar intervertebral disks: morphometric parameters and indices. Reports of Morphology, 27(2), 53-62.