open access

Vol 63, No 4 (2004)
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Published online: 2004-09-16
Submitted: 2012-02-06
Get Citation

Geometrical assessment of the foetal lumbar vertebral column - clinical implications

Marcin Czyż, Alicja Kędzia
Folia Morphol 2004;63(4):431-438.

open access

Vol 63, No 4 (2004)
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Published online: 2004-09-16
Submitted: 2012-02-06

Abstract

The neural arches, transverse processes, spinous processes, and superior and inferior articular processes of each of the 5 lumbar vertebrae can often be found under the common heading of ‘posterior element’. The aim of our study was to assess the changes in geometry of the posterior elements of the foetal lumbar vertebrae during the foetal period. A total of 50 human foetuses, both female and male, from natural abortions, C-R length ranging from 58 to 220 mm, were examined. The methodology of the research included classical anatomical preparation, detailed measurements of the structural elements of the lumbar vertebrae and statistical analysis. Geometrical reconstruction was subsequently performed. The shape of the posterior elements changed gradually from wide and massive to slender. We observed a descending sequence of these alterations, the first vertebra to change being L1, with L5 the last. The dynamic of the change was at its greatest during the first 4 weeks of the period evaluated. On the basis of our observations we concluded that the geometry of the posterior elements of the lumbar vertebrae undergoes a process of a great transformation during the foetal period, a process which progresses dynamically until the 14th week of intra-uterine development. The associations with micro-angiogenesis, the ossification process and the notion of structural adaptation of the lumbar spine to heightening mechanical stress are also discussed.

Abstract

The neural arches, transverse processes, spinous processes, and superior and inferior articular processes of each of the 5 lumbar vertebrae can often be found under the common heading of ‘posterior element’. The aim of our study was to assess the changes in geometry of the posterior elements of the foetal lumbar vertebrae during the foetal period. A total of 50 human foetuses, both female and male, from natural abortions, C-R length ranging from 58 to 220 mm, were examined. The methodology of the research included classical anatomical preparation, detailed measurements of the structural elements of the lumbar vertebrae and statistical analysis. Geometrical reconstruction was subsequently performed. The shape of the posterior elements changed gradually from wide and massive to slender. We observed a descending sequence of these alterations, the first vertebra to change being L1, with L5 the last. The dynamic of the change was at its greatest during the first 4 weeks of the period evaluated. On the basis of our observations we concluded that the geometry of the posterior elements of the lumbar vertebrae undergoes a process of a great transformation during the foetal period, a process which progresses dynamically until the 14th week of intra-uterine development. The associations with micro-angiogenesis, the ossification process and the notion of structural adaptation of the lumbar spine to heightening mechanical stress are also discussed.
Get Citation

Keywords

lumbar vertebra; morphometry; foetus; anatomy

About this article
Title

Geometrical assessment of the foetal lumbar vertebral column - clinical implications

Journal

Folia Morphologica

Issue

Vol 63, No 4 (2004)

Pages

431-438

Published online

2004-09-16

Bibliographic record

Folia Morphol 2004;63(4):431-438.

Keywords

lumbar vertebra
morphometry
foetus
anatomy

Authors

Marcin Czyż
Alicja Kędzia

Important: This website uses cookies. More >>

The cookies allow us to identify your computer and find out details about your last visit. They remembering whether you've visited the site before, so that you remain logged in - or to help us work out how many new website visitors we get each month. Most internet browsers accept cookies automatically, but you can change the settings of your browser to erase cookies or prevent automatic acceptance if you prefer.

By  "Via Medica sp. z o.o." sp.k., Świętokrzyska 73, 80–180 Gdańsk, Poland

tel.:+48 58 320 94 94, faks:+48 58 320 94 60, e-mail:  viamedica@viamedica.pl