A Comparative Analysis of Surface Areas and Ratio of the Cervical Spinal Cord and the Vertebral Canal at the Same Levels Via MRI on Healthy Individuals

DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0717-95022014000400008
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Fatma Duman; Taner Ziylan; Demet Kiresi; Aynur Emine Cicekcibasi; Mustafa Büyükmumcu & Tolga Duman


The determination of the normal values of the cross-sectional surface areas and ratios of the vertebral canal and the spinal cord on the healthy individuals is of great importance with regards to the fact that it provides convenience for the doctors to make correct pathological diagnosis because of the most suitable treatment. In this study, it has been aimed to determine the respective ratios between the vertebral canal and the spinal cord via measuring their cross-sectional surface areas at the C3­C6 vertebra levels. The study has been implemented on the Magnetic Resonance Images (MRI) of the cervical vertebral column from healthy individuals at the Department of Radiology, Meram Faculty of Medicine, Necmettin Erbakan University. The study has been applied to 67 (50 female-17 male) individuals whose ages varied between 14 and 59 and these individuals have been divided into two groups as below and over 40 years of age. During the cervical MRI examination, axial and sagittal images have been evaluated and measurements have been made on the non-pathological axial images. The vertebral canal and the spinal cord surface areas have been calculated in square millimeters at the C3­C6 levels. Also, we calculated the ratio between the spinal cord surface area and the vertebral canal surface area. The obtained data has been transferred on the computer and statistical analysis has been implemented via SPSS package program (for Windows, 15.0). The summary of the data has been stated as Mean±SD. It has also been compared with regard to sex and age groups (below and over 40 years of age) using the Student t-test. The relationship between parameters has been evaluated by means of Pearson correlation test. No significant discrepancy (P>0.05) has been determined between the male and the female subjects in terms of the vertebral canal and spinal cord surface area values. On the other hand, at the C4, C5 and C6 levels, a significant discrepancy (P<0.05) has been observed between male and female subjects in terms of the ratio of spinal cord surface to the vertebral canal surface, stating that the male have it larger than the female. A positive correlation (P<0.01) between the surface area and ratio data of both sexes has been determined. We believe that the results of this study will be useful for the fields of neurology, neurosurgery and physical therapy and rehabilitation, particularly in evaluating spinal atrophy.

KEY WORDS: Cervical; Vertebral canal; Spinal cord; Area; Ratio.

How to cite this article

DUMAN, F.; ZIYLAN, T.; KIRESI, D.; CICEKCIBASI, A. E.; BÜYÜKMUMCU, M. & DUMAN, T. A Comparative analysis of surface areas and ratio of the cervical spinal cord and the vertebral canal at the same levels via MRI on healthy individuals. Int. J. Morphol., 32(4):1171-1178, 2014.