Morphometric Study and Anatomical Variation with its Incidence of Foramina Transversaria on the Lower Cervical Vertebrae

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Rarinthorn Samrid; Sitthichai Iamsaard; Yuichi Kasai; Chanasorn Poodendan; Supataechasit Yannasithinon; Surachai Sae-Jung & Arada Chaiyamoon


Anatomical variation of the foramina transversaria (FT) is associated with vertebral neurovascular symptoms and can cause complications after lower spine surgery, especially cervical pedicle screw (CPS) insertion. FT variation has been documented and classified in various populations, as this information can help increase cervical stability in subaxial vertebral surgery. Although the morphometry of the upper cervical spine in Thai populations has been reported, there have yet been no studies examining the features of FT. The FT of dried cervical spines (C3-C7; left and right side; n = 107, male = 53 and female = 54) were examined for morphological variation, and their anteroposterior (AP) and transverse (T) diameters were measured using a digital vernier caliper. Morphometric data and variations were compared by sex and lateral side. It was that the C3-C6 FT in both sexes were round, and the C7 FT was elliptical with an oblique right side. FT diameters did not differ significantly by sex except for the AP diameters of C6-C7 and for T diameters of C4 and C7. The left AP diameters of C3-C6 were significantly longer than the right, as were the T diameters of C4 and C7 FT. Additionally, T diameter was significantly longer than that of the AP, except that of the left C6 in male spines, which did not differ from the AP. Most FT examined were round. These findings should be considered in the provisional diagnosis of vertebral neurovascular symptoms caused by FT variation as well as that of neurovascular damage after cervical pedicle screw placement.

KEY WORDS: Lower cervical spine; Foramina transversaria; Variation; Cervical pedicle screw fixation.

How to cite this article

SAMRID, R.; IAMSAARD, S.; KASAI, Y.; POODENDAN, C.; YANNASITHINON, S.; SAE-JUNG, S. & CHAIYAMOON, A. Morphometric study and anatomical variation with its incidence of foramina transversaria on the lower cervical vertebrae. Int. J. Morphol., 41(1):111-117, 2023.