Evidence for a role of nerve injury in painful intervertebral disc degeneration: A cross-sectional proteomic analysis of human cerebrospinal fluid.

Kim TKY et al Spine 2017


Intervertebral disc degeneration (DD) is a cause of low back pain (LBP) in some individuals. However, while >30% of adults have DD, LBP only develops in a subset of individuals. To gain insight into the mechanisms underlying non-painful versus painful DD, human cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) protein expression was examined.


Cerebrospinal fluid was examined for differential protein expression in healthy controls, pain-free adults with asymptomatic intervertebral disc degeneration, and low back pain patients with painful intervertebral disc degeneration. While disc degeneration was related to inflammation regardless of pain status, painful degeneration was associated with markers linked to nerve injury.

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