The Foramen Transversarium of Typical and Atypical Cervical Vertebrae: Morphology and Morphometry

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R. Sheik Abdul; L. Lazarus; C. Rennie & K. S. Satyapal


The seven cervical vertebrae found in the human body are classified into typical and atypical vertebrae. Their transverse processes contain foramen transversarium (FT) and traditionally there is one foramen present on each side, of similar size. However, variations of this foramen regarding its shape, size, number, laterality, location and osteometric characteristics have been documented in the literature. This morphological and morphometric study was conducted on 126 cervical vertebrae (82 typical and 44 atypical) obtained from the osteological bank at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal to produce a database which may serve as a useful guideline to medical personnel. There were variations observed regarding shape, number of FT, laterality and position, which have not previously been reported. The most types of variations were evident in the typical cervical vertebrae, then secondly, the seventh cervical vertebrae. The axis vertebrae did not display any accessory FT or variations.

KEY WORDS: Cervical vertebrae; Typical cervical vertebrae; Atypical cervical vertebrae; Foramen transversarium; Vertebral artery.

How to cite this article

SHEIK ABDUL, R.; LAZARUS, L.; RENNIE, C. & SATYAPAL, K. S. The foramen transversarium of typical and atypical cervical vertebrae: morphology and morphometry. Int. J. Morphol., 36(4):1439-1446, 2018.