Tervonen Osmo

Quantitave MR Characterization of the Discovertebral Complex in Low Back Pain


Research unit: Medical Imaging, Physics and Technology (MIPT)


Group leader

Professor Osmo Tervonen (MD, PhD)


What do we do

Low back pain (LBP) is related to a chronic degenerative spine disease (CDSD) with significant impact on the individual, society and economy. In 2010, degeneration of lumbar spine, manifesting as low back pain, was the most disabling disease in the UK.  Importantly, the prevalence of CDSD increases with age, which is bound to increase costs for the society due to prolonged life expectancy.

The failure to develop adequate treatments for CDSD is due to the complicated nature and incomplete understanding of pathogenesis, the lack of sensitive and specific biomarkers to detect early degenerative changes and inability to monitor  response to new treatment strategies.

The research group has previously characterized structural changes in the discovertebral complex by using modern imaging methods as well as developed new more effective treatment methods for low back pain. These include MR diffusion and perfusion and other quantitative MR methods combined with functional (molecular) imaging.


Our team

The research group is a member of the OASIS research consortium.

Senior researchers

  • Niinimäki Jaakko, docent
  • Kurunlahti Mauno, MD, PhD

PhD students

  • Järvinen Jyri, MD
  • Tahvonen Pirita, MD


Where are we headed

The research program aims to provide a significant contribution to the understanding of CDSD pathogenesis, the early diagnosis of the disease and for alternative treatments of the disease.  This is utilized by using various imaging approaches to study the CDSD  in vivo quantitative MRI techniques, development of novel quantitative signal and image analysis methods will enable extraction of information on structure and composition of discovertebral tissues.


Our main collaborators

MR Research Lab, Mayo Clinic, Rochester MN, USA
University of Minnesota, St Paul, MN, USA


How to find us


Last updated: 9.7.2019