International Journal of Biological Sciences

Impact factor

ISSN 1449-2288

News feeds of IJBS published articles
Manuscript login

open access Global reach, higher impact

Journal of Genomics in PubMed Central. Submit manuscript now...


International Journal of Medical Sciences

Journal of Cancer

Journal of Genomics


PubMed Central Indexed in Journal Impact Factor

Int J Biol Sci 2009; 5(7):647-658. doi:10.7150/ijbs.5.647


Clinical diagnosis for discogenic low back pain

Yin-gang Zhang1 ✉, Tuan-mao Guo1, Xiong Guo2, Shi-xun Wu1

1. Department of Orthopaedics, the First Affiliated Hospital, Medical College of Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an 710061, P.R. China
2. Key Laboratory of Environment and Genes Related to Diseases of Ministry of Education, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an 710061, P.R. China


Discogenic lower back pain (DLBP) is the most common type of chronic lower back pain (LBP), accounting for 39% of cases, compared to 30% of cases due to disc herniation, and even lower prevalence rates for other causes, such as zygapophysial joint pain. Only a small proportion (approximately 20%) of LBP cases can be attributed with reasonable certainty to a pathologic or anatomical entity. Thus, diagnosing the cause of LBP represents the biggest challenge for doctors in this field. In this review, we summarize the process of obtaining a clinical diagnosis of DLBP and discuss the potential for serum-based diagnosis in the near future. The use of serum biomarkers to diagnose DLBP is likely to increase the ease of diagnosis as well as produce more accurate and reproducible results.

Keywords: discogenic lower back pain, clinical diagnosis, serum proteomics

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC) License. See for full terms and conditions.
How to cite this article:
Zhang Yg, Guo Tm, Guo X, Wu Sx. Clinical diagnosis for discogenic low back pain. Int J Biol Sci 2009; 5(7):647-658. doi:10.7150/ijbs.5.647. Available from