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Table 1 Disc degeneration grading according to Pfirrmann et al.

From: Different spinal subtypes with varying characteristics of lumbar disc degeneration at specific level with age: a study based on an asymptomatic population

GradeStructureDistinction of nucleus and anulusSignal intensityIntervertebral disc height
IHomogeneous, bright whiteClearHyperintense, isointense to cerebrospinal fluidNormal
IIHeterogeneous with or without horizontal bandsClearHyperintense, isointense to cerebrospinal fluidNormal
IIIHeterogeneous, grayUnclearIntermediateNormal to slightly decreased
IVHeterogeneous, gray to blackLostIntermediate to hypointenseNormal to moderately decreased
VHeterogeneous, blackLostHypointenseCollapsed disc space