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Ahead of Print
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Published online: 2020-03-03
Submitted: 2019-11-16
Accepted: 2020-01-27
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Course variability of the atlantic (V3) segment of vertebral artery: anatomical study with clinical implications

M. K. Ciołkowski, B. Ciszek
DOI: 10.5603/FM.a2020.0029
·
Pubmed: 32159841

open access

Ahead of Print
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Published online: 2020-03-03
Submitted: 2019-11-16
Accepted: 2020-01-27

Abstract

Background: The atlantic segment of vertebral artery (V3) located at the centre of the cranio-vertebral junction is known for its variability and asymmetry, and is either the target or on the way of numerous procedures in this region. The aim of the study was to visualise variability of V3 segment. Materials and methods: The V3 segment was studied in 49 specimens of the suboccipital region injected with coloured gelatine. Direct measurements were performed and probabilistic maps were created using digital photography. Results: The V3 segment has wavy course with possible lateral and significant postero-inferior expansions. In relation to the foramen transversarium the V3 reached up to 5 mm laterally, 23 mm posteriorly, 27 mm medially and up to 11 mm downward. Looking from the medial aspect the course of the V3 is less predictable compared to the lateral approach. Linear measurements and probabilistic maps revealed significant variability and large range of variation. There were 11 cases of V3 tortuosity found in studied material. Conclusions: The complex and variable spatial conformation of V3 makes individual diagnostic and preoperative approach necessary.

Abstract

Background: The atlantic segment of vertebral artery (V3) located at the centre of the cranio-vertebral junction is known for its variability and asymmetry, and is either the target or on the way of numerous procedures in this region. The aim of the study was to visualise variability of V3 segment. Materials and methods: The V3 segment was studied in 49 specimens of the suboccipital region injected with coloured gelatine. Direct measurements were performed and probabilistic maps were created using digital photography. Results: The V3 segment has wavy course with possible lateral and significant postero-inferior expansions. In relation to the foramen transversarium the V3 reached up to 5 mm laterally, 23 mm posteriorly, 27 mm medially and up to 11 mm downward. Looking from the medial aspect the course of the V3 is less predictable compared to the lateral approach. Linear measurements and probabilistic maps revealed significant variability and large range of variation. There were 11 cases of V3 tortuosity found in studied material. Conclusions: The complex and variable spatial conformation of V3 makes individual diagnostic and preoperative approach necessary.

Get Citation

Keywords

atlanto-occipital joint, cranio-cervical junction, cranio-vertebral junction, suboccipital triangle, vertebral artery anatomy, vertebro-basilar system

About this article
Title

Course variability of the atlantic (V3) segment of vertebral artery: anatomical study with clinical implications

Journal

Folia Morphologica

Issue

Ahead of Print

Published online

2020-03-03

DOI

10.5603/FM.a2020.0029

Pubmed

32159841

Keywords

atlanto-occipital joint
cranio-cervical junction
cranio-vertebral junction
suboccipital triangle
vertebral artery anatomy
vertebro-basilar system

Authors

M. K. Ciołkowski
B. Ciszek

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