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IgG and IgM Concentration in the Prolapsed Human Intervertebral Disc and Sciatica Etiology

Spiliopoulou, Iris, MD*; Korovessis, Panagiotis, MD; Konstantinou, Dimitris, MD; Dimitracopoulos, George, MD*

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Study Design A prospective study was conducted in patients who underwent surgeries for sciatica. The results were compared to those of control subjects.

Objectives This study expanded knowledge about the pathogenesis of back pain and sciatica in disc herniation.

Methods Nucleus pulposus, retrieved from 10 patients who underwent surgeries for sciatica caused by disc herniation and from 8 patients used as control subjects, was homogenized and together with serum and cerebrospinal fluid was examined for local production of IgG and IgM by rate nephelometry.

Summary of the Background Data Experimental data have shown an inflammatory reaction in the nucleus pulposus of animal models.

Results and Conclusions An increased ratio IgGNP/IgGs x 103 and IgMNP/IgMs x 103 was found in all patient samples, whereas only the IgMNP/IgMs x 103 ratio was significantly higher (P< 0.005) when compared with those of the control values. These findings may be secondary to an inflammatory reaction close to the nerve root and prolapsed nucleus pulposus. Therefore, they may contribute in some way to the inflammatory origin of sciatica.

*Departments of Microbiology, General Hospital “Agios Andreas,” Patras, Greece.

†Neurosurgery, University of Patras Medical School, Patras, Greece.

‡Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, General Hospital “Agios Andreas,” Patras, Greece.

© Lippincott-Raven Publishers.