Morphometry Research of Deer, Sheep, and Human Lumbar Spine: Feasibility of Using Deerand Sheep in Spinal Animal Models

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Xiaofan Bai; Guomin Liu; Chuanjie Xu; Yingying Zhuang; Jinlong Zhang; Yuyan Jia & Yi Liu


Deer and sheep are used as spinal animal models in clinical and basic research. In this paper, the anatomical morphology, curvature, and morphology index parameters were investigated to assess the feasibility of using deer and sheep as animal models of the human spine. Fresh adult male sheep, deer, and human spine specimens (n = 10 each) were screened and subjected to morphological analyses. The statistical software package SPSS (version 17.0) was used to analyze the statistical similarity and variability among the 3 species. Deer displayed good similarity to human in terms of the vertebral transverse diameter, radius vector, spinal canal transverse diameter, radius vector, and vertebral upper and lower endplate curvature radii. Sheep displayed good similarity to human in terms of the vertebral body height, pedicle height, vertebral mid-lever curvature radius, and vertebral positive curvature radius. Human, deer, and sheep each displayed unique morphological characteristics and trends for the lumbar spine. These findings indicate that deer and sheep are good spinal animal models of human in morphometry, but with specific advantages in different research fields: deer are more suitable when studying vertebrae and endplate structures, while sheep are more suitable when referring to structures such as the vertebral walls.

KEY WORDS: Lumbar spine; Animal model; Human; Deer; Sheep; Morphometry.

How to cite this article

BAI, X.; LIU, G.; XU, C.; ZHUANG, Y.; ZHANG, J.; JIA, J. & LIU, Y. Morphometry research of deer, sheep, and human lumbar spine: feasibility of using deer and sheep in spinal animal models. Int. J. Morphol., 30(2):510-520, 2012.