Prevalence of thoracic diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH) in Japanese: Results of chest CT-based cross-sectional study

J Orthop Sci. 2017 Jan;22(1):38-42. doi: 10.1016/j.jos.2016.09.003. Epub 2016 Sep 30.


Background: The epidemiology and etiology of diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH) remain obscure. To date, to the best of our knowledge, there is no study that precisely evaluated the prevalence of thoracic DISH based on computed tomography (CT) data in large number of non-operated cohort with wide age distribution.

Methods: The participants of this study were the consecutive patients who have undergone chest CT for the examination of pulmonary diseases in our institute. The patients with previous thoracic spine surgery and younger than 15 years old were excluded. Chest CT data were reconstructed in the condition suitable for bone evaluation by the software application. Definitive diagnosis of DISH was determined according to the criteria established by Resnick and Niwayama. Prevalence and distribution of thoracic DISH were reviewed and the data was statistically analyzed.

Results: Total 3013 patients (1261 females and 1752 males) with the mean age of 65 years were recruited. The CT-based evidence of thoracic DISH was noted in 261 individuals (31 females and 230 males) (8.7%), and their mean age was 73 years. Statistical analyses revealed that thoracic DISH had a significant male preponderance. The mean age of thoracic DISH positive individuals was significantly higher than that of thoracic DISH negative individuals. There was significant difference of bone mass index (BMI) between thoracic DISH positive and negative individuals. Thoracic DISH was noted after the age of 40s with the highest distribution found at the age of 70s. No thoracic DISH localizes only higher thoracic region was found.

Conclusions: The CT-based prevalence of thoracic DISH in Japanese was 8.7%. Thoracic DISH has a significant predisposition to elderly male with high BMI.

MeSH terms

  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cohort Studies
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperostosis, Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal / diagnostic imaging*
  • Hyperostosis, Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal / epidemiology*
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prevalence
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sex Distribution
  • Thoracic Vertebrae*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*