Neurospine.  2021 Mar;18(1):170-176. 10.14245/ns.2040498.249.

Vertebral Endplate Cyst Formation in Relation to Properties of Interbody Cages

  • 1Department of Neurosurgery and Spine Surgery, Iseikai Hospital, Osaka, Japan
  • 2Department of Spine and Lumbago Center, Kitasuma Hospital, Hyogo, Japan
  • 3Department of Neurosurgery, Suita Municipal Hospital, Suita, Japan


This retrospective study aimed to compare vertebral endplate cyst formation (VECF), an early predictor for pseudoarthrosis, in different types of interbody cages.
We reviewed 84 cases treated with single-level posterior/transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion. We utilized a polyetheretherketone cage in 20 cases (group P), a titanium cage in 16 cases (group Ti), a titanium-coating polyetheretherketone cage in 13 cases (group TiP) and a porous tantalum cage in 35 cases (group Tn). VECF was evaluated comparing the computed tomography scans taken at day 0 and 6-month postoperation. We defined VECF (+) as enlargement of a pre-existing cyst or de novo formation of a cyst with the diameter over 2 mm. We calculated the adjusted odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) as an indicator of association between different types of cages and VECF using a logistic regression model.
VECF was observed in 13 (65%), 7 (44%), 9 (69%), and 8 (23%) cases in groups P, Ti, TiP and Tn, respectively. VECF correlated with the type of cage (p = 0.04). In comparison with group P, the proportion of VECF (+) cases was lower in group Tn (OR, 0.16; 95% CI, 0.04–0.60) but not different in group Ti (OR, 0.47; 95% CI, 0.10–2.20) and group TiP (OR, 1.06; 95% CI, 0.21–5.28). No patient underwent additional surgery for the fused spinal level during the follow-up periods (average, 37.9 months; range, 6–76 months).
VECF was the least in the porous Tn cage, suggesting its potential superiority for initial stability.


Vertebral endplate cyst formation; Polyetheretherketone; Titanium; Tantalum; Posterior lumbar interbody fusion; Interbody cage
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