Calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate crystal deposition in and around the atlantoaxial joint: Association with type 2 odontoid fractures in nine patients

Yousuke Kakitsubata, Robert D Boutin, Daphne J. Theodorou, Roger M. Kerr, Lynne S. Steinbach, Karence K. Chan, Mini N. Pathria, Parviz Haghighi, Donald Resnick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

53 Scopus citations

Abstract

PURPOSE: To investigate the histopathologic anatomy of calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate (CPPD) crystal deposition in and around the atlantoaxial joint and the association between CPPD crystal deposition and subchondral cysts, erosions, and fracture involving the odontoid process of the axis. MATERIALS AND METHODS: One adult cadaver demonstrating calcification in the retro-odontoid area at computed tomography (CT) was selected for further radiography, CT, and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging at the C1-2 level. Anatomic sectioning and histologic evaluations were performed in the specimen. For clinical study, radiographs (n = 5), CT scans (n = 8), and MR images (n = 6) in nine patients (mean age, 74.4 years) with odontoid process fractures and CPPD crystal deposits in and around the atlantoaxial joint were reviewed. RESULTS: In the cadaveric specimen, radiography and CT demonstrated calcifications in the transverse ligament; histologic evaluation confirmed that these calcifications were CPPD crystal deposits. In all nine patients, radiography (n = 5) and CT (n = 8) also showed calcification in areas adjacent to the odontoid process, which included the transverse ligament. T1- and T2-weighted MR imaging showed a retro-odontoid mass of low signal intensity that compressed the cervical cord in six patients. CT, MR imaging, or both demonstrated subchondral cysts, osseous erosions, or a type 2 odontoid fracture in all patients. CONCLUSION: CPPD crystal deposition disease involving the C1-C2 articulation can be a clinically important entity that may place affected patients at increased risk of pathologic fracture of the odontoid process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-219
Number of pages7
JournalRadiology
Volume216
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000

Keywords

  • Arthritis
  • Atlas and axis, fractures
  • Calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate deposition disease (CPPD)
  • Fractures, pathologic
  • Ligaments, spinal
  • Spine, CT
  • Spine, MR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology

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    Kakitsubata, Y., Boutin, R. D., Theodorou, D. J., Kerr, R. M., Steinbach, L. S., Chan, K. K., Pathria, M. N., Haghighi, P., & Resnick, D. (2000). Calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate crystal deposition in and around the atlantoaxial joint: Association with type 2 odontoid fractures in nine patients. Radiology, 216(1), 213-219.