Prominent Epidural Vein Simulating a Herniated Disk

Unknown Spine Case 5


38 y/o man with low back pain.

Image Findings

The precontrast images show what appears to be a focal protrusion of the disk on the left at L4-5. Post contrast, this area shows well circumscribed, linear enhancement, in keeping with a prominent epidural vein.


Epidural veins may occasionally be confused with herniated disks on non-contrast images. Contrast enhancement usually eliminates this confusion. Epidural veins enhance less diffusely than epidural scar tissue.
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Last modified April 3, 1995
Copyright 1995 Ray Ballinger, University of Florida and VA Medical Center, Gainesville, FL.