Intervertebral disc heights and concavity index of the lumbar spine in young healthy adults

Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate lumbar intervertebral disc heights and concavity index of the lumbar spine, and the influence of age, gender, weight, height and body mass index (BMI) on these parameters. Methods: The study was conducted on 150 health young subjects (age 18 to 27) without any disorder which affects the lumbar spine and the discs. Subjects underwent standard standing lateral lumbar radiography. Mann-Whitney U test and Spearman’s correlation test were used for statistical analysis. Results: Of the 150 subjects (age range, 18–27 years), 80 (53.3%) were women and 70 (46.7%) were men. Men presented higher lumbar disc values than women. In both genders, disc height increased from T12–L1 to L4–L5, and then decreased at L5–S1. The heights of all lumbar discs increased with age, weight, height and BMI in both genders. Women demonstrated a higher concavity index at L2, L3 and L4 vertebrae compared to men, whereas men showed a higher concavity index value at L5 vertebra. The concavity index of T12, L1, L2, L3 and L4 vertebrae decreased with age. Conclusion: Our results will serve as guidelines and references for further studies, radiologists and spinal surgeons.

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