• Bacterial infection (discitis)
  • Tuberculous infection


  • Neurofibroma (enlarging foramen)
  • Hemangioma
  • Aneurysmal bone cyst
  • Giant cell tumor


  • Metastatic disease


  • Non-tuberculous infection is centered at the disc space with involvement of the vertebral end plates on either side of the disc.
  • Soft tissue neurofibromas may cause enlargement of foramina with surrounding sclerosis.
  • Hemangioma is usually an incidental finding, with typical coarsened vertical trabeculae.
  • Aneurysmal bone cyst and giant cell tumor can be destructive and may cause neurologic damage.
  • Metastatic disease usually starts in the pedicle.

Other Differential Diagnoses by Anatomic Location