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1.  Morphometrical Study of Uncinate Processes and Vertebral Body of Cervical Spine 
The anatomical knowledge is the most important and has a direct link with success of operation in cervical spine surgery. The authors measured various cervical parameters in cadaveric dry bones and compared with previous reported results.
We made 255 dry bones age from 19 to 72 years (mean, 42.3 years) that were obtained from 51 subjects in 100 subjects who donated their bodies. All measurements from C3-C7 levels were made using digital vernier calipers, standard goniometer, and self-made fix tool for two different cervical axes (canal and disc setting). We classified into 4 groups (uncinate process, vertebral body, lamina, and pedicle) and measured independently by two neurosurgeons for 28 parameters.
We analyzed 23970 measurements by mean value and standard deviations. In comparing with previous literatures, there are some different results. The mean values for uncinate process (UP) width ranged from 5.5 mm at C4 and 5 to 6.3 mm at C3 and C7 in men. Also, in women, the mean values for UP width ranged from 5.5 mm at C5 to 6.3 mm at C7. C7 was widest and C5 was most narrow than other levels. The antero-posterior length of UP tended to increase gradually from C3 to C6. The tip way, tip distance, and base distance of UP also showed increasing pattern from C3 to C7.
These measurements can provide the spinal surgeons with a starting point to address bony architectures surrounding targeted soft tissues for safeguard against unintended damages during cervical operation.
PMCID: PMC3393857  PMID: 22792419
Cervical vertebra; Uncinate process; Dry bone; Parameters
2.  Anatomical Variations of Uncinate Process Observed in Chronic Sinusitis 
Chronic Sinusitis, an extremely persistent illness, is surgically best treated by Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery. The ostiomeatal complex is the main area targeted and within it uncinate process is the first anatomical structure encountered. The significance of anatomical variations concerning age and sex of uncinate process in chronic sinusitis were evaluated. A prospective study on 50 patients of chronic sinusitis (100 uncinate processes) was done. The results were tabulated and analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) 16.0. Type I superior attachment of uncinate process (67 %) was the most common variety in all ages and both sexes and a statistically significant relationship between Type I superior attachment of uncinate process and sex was found (p < 0.05). The typical uncinate process was most common (70 %) followed by medial deviation of the uncinate (24 %). This difference in occurrence was significant with respect to both age and sex (p < 0.05). Anatomical variations of uncinate process are not responsible for causing chronic sinusitis. Mere presence of these variations of uncinate is not an indication for FESS.
PMCID: PMC3649035  PMID: 24427557
Chronic sinusitis; Middle meatus; Uncinate process
3.  Lateral Mass Fixation in Subaxial Cervical Spine: Anatomic Review 
Global Spine Journal  2012;2(1):39-46.
Introduction The cervical spine is a highly mobile segment of the spinal column, liable to a variety of diseases and susceptible to trauma. It is a complex region where many vital structures lie in close proximity. Lateral mass screw fixation has become the method of choice in stabilizing subaxial cervical spine among other posterior cervical fixation techniques whenever the posterior elements are absent or compromised.
Objective This study examined cervical specimens of cadavers and cervical computed tomography (CT) scans to minimize as much as possible complications of cervical lateral mass screw placement such as vertebral artery or nerve root injuries, facet joint violations, or inadequate placement.
Methods Forty normal cervical CT scans, obtained from the emergency unit as part of the trauma workup, were included in this study plus 10 cervical cadaveric specimens obtained from the Alexandria Neuro-anatomy laboratory. There were three fixed parameters for screw insertion in this study. First, the point of screw insertion was the midpoint of the lateral mass; it was the crossing point between the sagittal and axial planes of the posterior cortex of the lateral mass. Second, the direction of the screw in the craniocaudal plane was 30 degrees cranially to avoid facet joint penetration. Third, the exit point of the screw was located on the ventral cortex of the lateral mass just lateral to the root of the transverse process in the midaxial cut of each lateral mass, to make a sound bicortical fixation without injuring the vertebral artery or the nerve root. The selected screw trajectory in this study was the line drawn between the inlet and exit points. The depth and width of the lateral mass of the cervical vertebrae from C3 to C7 were measured as well as the angle of screw trajectory from the sagittal plane. All these measures were applied on the cadaveric specimens to make sure that no injury to the vertebral artery, nerve root, or facet joint occurred.
Results As regards the collected measurements of the lateral mass of all subaxial cervical vertebrae, the study revealed that the average depth of the lateral mass was 12.83 ± 1.28 mm. The average width of the lateral mass was 11.92 ± 0.96 mm. The average divergent angle of bicortical screw insertion without injury to the vertebral artery or the nerve root was 19.51 ± 1.83 degrees. As regard the cadaveric specimens, based on all the collected measurements taken from the CT scans, there was no reported injury to the vertebral arteries or nerve roots or penetration to the facet joints.
Conclusion Lateral mass fixation can be applied easily and safely for all levels of subaxial cervical spine from C3 to C6 with the following parameters: (1) the point of entry is the midpoint of the lateral mass; (2) the screw trajectory is directed 30 degrees cranially and 20 degrees laterally; (3) the screw length is 13 to 15 mm.
PMCID: PMC3864406  PMID: 24353945
lateral mass fixation; vertebral artery; nerve root; facet joint
4.  Morphometry of the Iliolumbar Artery and the Iliolumbar Veins and Their Correlations with the Lumbosacral Trunk and the Obturator Nerve 
Objectives: To reveal the variations of the iliolumbar artery and the iliolumabar veins and their correlation with the surrounding important structures.
Methods: We dissected the iliolumbar region bilaterally in 20 formalin-fixed adult cadavers. The diameter of the iliolumbar artery at its origin, its length up to the branching point, the distance between the iliolumbar artery and the inferior margin of the fifth lumbar vertebra and the distance between the iliolumbar artery and the bifurcation point of the common iliac artery, were measured. The pattern of drainage, the dimensions, the points of confluence with the common iliac vein and the obliquity of the iliolumbar vein were noted. The correlation between the iliolumbar artery and the veins to the obturator nerve and the lumbosacral trunk was recorded.
Results: The iliolumbar artery originated from the posterior trunk of the internal iliac artery or from the internal iliac artery. The mean diameter of the iliolumbar artery, at its origin, was 3.5±0.5 mm. The mean distance between the origin of the iliolumbar artery and the bifurcation point to the iliac and the lumbar branches was 12.2±5.5 mm. The distance between the origin of the iliolumbar artery and the lower edge of the fifth lumbar vertebra was 43.2±11.6 mm. The distance between the origin of the iliolumbar artery and the bifurcation point of the common iliac artery was 38.7±10.6 mm.
The mean distance of the iliolumbar veins from the inferior vena cava, overall, was 35± 9.9 mm. The mean width of the mouth of the iliolumbar vein was10.7 ± 5.1 mm and the mean angle of obliquity of the vein with respect to the long axis of the common iliac vein was 75.50. The tributaries which drained into the main iliolumbar vein were variable.
The iliolumbar artery passed anterior in 70% and it passed posterior to the obturator nerve in 30%. The veins were lying anterior to the obturator nerve in 45% and they were lying posterior in 55%. The multiple tributaries which drained into the iliolumbar vein relation of the tributaries were variable, few passed anterior and few passed posterior.
The iliolumbar artery was seen anterior to the lumbosacral trunk in 30%, it was posterior in 54%, it was cleaved in 8% and the branches of the artery were passing on either side of the lumbosacral trunk to enclose it like a clasp in 8%. The veins were anterior to the lumbosacral trunk in 40% and they were posterior in 60%.
Conclusion: The anatomical features of the iliolumbar artery, the iliolumbar veins and their correlation with the anatomical landmarks, which were presented here, would be helpful in decreasing the iatrogenic trauma to the neurovascular structures in the iliolumbar region.
PMCID: PMC3616548  PMID: 23634388
Iliolumbar artery; Iliolumbar veins; Obturator nerve; Lumbosacral trunk; Injury; Spine surgery
5.  Utility of Intraoperative Angiography during Subaxial Foramen Transversarium Decompression for Bow Hunter's Syndrome 
Interventional Neuroradiology  2013;19(2):240-244.
Bow hunter's syndrome is an uncommon cause of vertebrobasilar insufficiency resulting from rotational compression of the extracranial vertebral artery. While positional compression of any portion of the extracranial vertebral artery has been reported to result in bow hunter's syndrome, the most common site of compression is the V2 segment as it passes through the foramen transversarium of the subaxial cervical spine. A 43-year-old woman presented with increasingly frequent pre-syncopal and syncopal episodes upon leftward head rotation. Pre-operative angiographic studies with the neck rotated to the left demonstrated occlusion of the left vertebral artery by a C4-5 osteophyte arising from the C4 uncinate process. The patient underwent microsurgical decompression of the vertebral artery at C4-5 through a standard anterior transcervical retropharyngeal approach. Selective vertebral artery intraoperative angiography performed with the head passively rotated to the left before and after left vertebral artery decompression showed marked improvement in the luminal diameter and blood flow. The patient's symptoms resolved post-operatively. This case illustrates the second instance of intraoperative angiography used to confirm adequate vertebral artery decompression for bow hunter's syndrome. Intraoperative angiography can be safely used to decrease the extent of vertebral artery decompression in order to minimize the risk of operative complications.
PMCID: PMC3670065  PMID: 23693050
vertebrobasilar insufficiency, stroke, endovascular procedures, vertebral artery, spondylosis
6.  Distinct Types of White Matter Changes Are Observed after Anterior Temporal Lobectomy in Epilepsy 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(8):e104211.
Anterior temporal lobectomy (ATL) is commonly adopted to control medically intractable temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). Depending on the side of resection, the degree to which Wallerian degeneration and adaptive plasticity occur after ATL has important implications for understanding cognitive and clinical outcome. We obtained diffusion tensor imaging from 24 TLE patients (12 left) before and after surgery, and 12 matched controls at comparable time intervals. Voxel-based analyses were performed on fractional anisotropy (FA) before and after surgery. Areas with postoperative FA increase were further investigated to distinguish between genuine plasticity and processes related to the degeneration of crossing fibers. Before surgery, both patient groups showed bilateral reduced FA in numerous tracts, but left TLE patients showed more extensive effects, including language tracts in the contralateral hemisphere (superior longitudinal fasciculus and uncinate). After surgery, FA decreased ipsilaterally in both ATL groups, affecting the fornix, uncinate, stria terminalis, and corpus callosum. FA increased ipsilaterally along the superior corona radiata in both left and right ATL groups, exceeding normal FA values. In these clusters, the mode of anisotropy increased as well, confirming fiber degeneration in an area with crossing fibers. In left ATL patients, pre-existing low FA values in right superior longitudinal and uncinate fasciculi normalized after surgery, while MO values did not change. Preoperative verbal fluency correlated with FA values in all areas that later increased FA in left TLE patients, but postoperative verbal fluency correlated only with FA of the right superior longitudinal fasciculus. Our results demonstrate that genuine reorganization occurs in non-dominant language tracts after dominant hemisphere resection, a process that may help implement the inter-hemispheric shift of language activation found in fMRI studies. The results indicate that left TLE patients, despite showing more initial white matter damage, have the potential for greater adaptive changes postoperatively than right TLE patients.
PMCID: PMC4121328  PMID: 25089698
7.  The So-Called Anterior Meningeal Artery: an Anatomic Study for Treatment Modalities 
Interventional Neuroradiology  2005;10(4):293-299.
The so called anterior meningeal artery (AMA) is a branch of the vertebral artery (VA), which had been interpreted as a supplying vessel of the dura in the foramen magnum and upper cervical level.
In this study, we examined the anatomy of this artery and relationships to its surrounding structures for treatment modalities. With the aid of magnification, five adult cadaveric head and neck complex and five cervical spines were examined after perfusion of the vessels with colored silicone.
The AMA arose from the VA between the C2 and C3 level, and passed medially through the intrervertebral foramen anterior to the dural sheath of the third cervical nerve root. It ran upwards dorsal to the deep layer of the posterior longitudinal ligament (PLL) with anterior internal vertebral venous plexus. Rostrally, it formed an arcade above the apex of the odontoid process with its contralateral mate.
The AMA gave off several tiny branches to the deep layer of the PLL, ligaments and soft tissues above the apex of the odontoid process, and vertebral bodies of the axis. At the level of the foramen magnum, it ended in several small twigs to the dura. Anastomoses between the AMA system and adjacent vessels were observed. One was directed through the hypoglossal canal to the ascending pharyngeal artery and the other was with the V3 segment of the VA. The origin and course of the two AMA, and anastomoses were symmetric. Although the AMA feeds the ventral dura of the foramen magnum, the perfusion area is larger than its name suggests, including the bony and ligamentous structures in the craniovertebral junction.
Anatomical knowledge of the AMA, including its anastomoses and layer relationships to the surrounding structures, may help to perform treatment modalities in this region rationally.
PMCID: PMC3463288  PMID: 20587212
anatomy, anterior meningeal artery, craniovertebral junction, vertebral artery
8.  Functional anatomy of the uncinate process and its role in endoscopic sinus surgery 
A basic step of Functional Endoscopic sinus surgery—the most modern and revolutionary surgical treatment for chronic and recurring sinusitis, is removal of uncinate process to expose the infundibulum. The purpose of this study is to explore the functional role of uncinate process with special reference to endoscopic sinus surgery.
A fixed dose of sterile methylene blue was sprayed into the nasal cavities of post endoscopic sinus surgery cases, 20 without uncinate process preservation and 20 with uncinate process preservation. The area of staining/deposition of the stain in the ethmoidal cavity and the maxillary sinuses was endoscopically observed.
Deposition of methylene blue was consistently found to be occurring in a larger area of the ethmoidal cavity including the maxillary sinus in post endoscopic sinus surgery cases without uncinate process preservation.
Uncinate proces probably acts as a protective wall by directing the allergen bearing and contuminated inspired air away from the sinuses and facilitating ventilation of the sinuses in the mucocilliary pretreated expiratory phase. Injudictious removal of the uncinate process especially in cases with allergic rhinosinusitis should thus expose the sinus mucosa to contaminated air.
PMCID: PMC3450881  PMID: 23119747
Uncinate process; Endoscopic sinus surgery
9.  Success rate and complications of endonasal dacryocystorhinostomy with unciformectomy 
Endonasal dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR) has been widely used to treat nasolacrimal duct obstruction. Here, we evaluated the anatomical advantages of the uncinate process as a landmark and to study the effect of unciformectomy on success rate and complications of endonasal DCR .
In total, 288 eyes of 265 adult patients who underwent endonasal DCR between January 2003 and February 2010 were reviewed retrospectively. The eyes were classified into two groups, according to whether unciformectomy was performed or not. All surgical procedures and surgical indications were the same except unciformectomy and endonasal DCR was performed by one surgeon. Unciformectomy was performed by resecting the anterior part of uncinate process.
One hundred and eighty-six eyes of 168 patients received endonasal DCR with unciformectomy, and 102 eyes of 97 patients received endonasal DCR alone. The average success rate of endonasal DCR with unciformectomy was 97.8 % and that of endonasal DCR alone was 90.2 %, with statistically significant difference (Student's t-test, p-value < 0.05). There were 14 eyes with post-operative nasolacrimal obstruction, caused by granuloma in five eyes, intranasal synechia in two eyes, membranous obstruction in six eyes, and canalicular stenosis in one eye. There were no serious complications such as orbital fat prolapse, cerebrospinal fluid leak, or delayed hemorrhage.
Anterior resection of the uncinate process gives improved access to the lacrimal bone by exposing the medial aspect of the lacrimal fossa and forming the precise location of the osteotomy on the lacrimal bone during endonasal DCR. Thus, the uncinate process can be used as an anatomical landmark for endonasal DCR. The unciformian endonasal DCR improves operation success rate by allowing access to the large space of the nasal cavity and reducing the synechiae of the nasal cavity.
PMCID: PMC3460168  PMID: 22623114
Endonasal dacryocystorhinostomy; Nasolacrimal duct obstruction; Postoperative complications; Success rate; Uncinate process
10.  A novel frontal pathway underlies verbal fluency in primary progressive aphasia 
Brain  2013;136(8):2619-2628.
The frontal aslant tract is a direct pathway connecting Broca’s region with the anterior cingulate and pre-supplementary motor area. This tract is left lateralized in right-handed subjects, suggesting a possible role in language. However, there are no previous studies that have reported an involvement of this tract in language disorders. In this study we used diffusion tractography to define the anatomy of the frontal aslant tract in relation to verbal fluency and grammar impairment in primary progressive aphasia. Thirty-five patients with primary progressive aphasia and 29 control subjects were recruited. Tractography was used to obtain indirect indices of microstructural organization of the frontal aslant tract. In addition, tractography analysis of the uncinate fasciculus, a tract associated with semantic processing deficits, was performed. Damage to the frontal aslant tract correlated with performance in verbal fluency as assessed by the Cinderella story test. Conversely, damage to the uncinate fasciculus correlated with deficits in semantic processing as assessed by the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test. Neither tract correlated with grammatical or repetition deficits. Significant group differences were found in the frontal aslant tract of patients with the non-fluent/agrammatic variant and in the uncinate fasciculus of patients with the semantic variant. These findings indicate that degeneration of the frontal aslant tract underlies verbal fluency deficits in primary progressive aphasia and further confirm the role of the uncinate fasciculus in semantic processing. The lack of correlation between damage to the frontal aslant tract and grammar deficits suggests that verbal fluency and grammar processing rely on distinct anatomical networks.
PMCID: PMC3722349  PMID: 23820597
aphasia; white matter; language; tractography; dementia; freesurfer; frontal aslant tract; tractography
11.  Endonasal Access to the Upper Cervical Spine, Part One: Radiographic Morphometric Analysis 
Objectives To determine the anatomical relationships that may influence endonasal access to the upper cervical spine.
Setting We retrospectively analyzed computed tomography of 100 patients at a single institution.
Participants Participants included adults with imaging of the hard palate, clivus, and cervical spine without evidence of fracture, severe spondylosis, or previous instrumentation.
Main Outcome Measures Morphometric analyses of hard palate length and both distance and angle between the hard palate and odontoid process were based on radiographic measurements. Descriptive zones were assigned to cervical spine levels, and endoscopic visualization was simulated with projected lines at 0, 30, and 45 degrees from the hard palate to the cervical spine.
Results We found an inverse relationship between hard palate length and the lowest zone of the cervical spine potentially visualized by nasal endoscopy. The distance between the posterior tip of the hard palate and the odontoid tip, and the angle formed between the two, directly influenced the lowest possible cervical exposure.
Conclusions Radiographic relationships between hard palate length, distance to the odontoid, and the angle formed between the two predict the limits of endonasal access to the cervical spine. These results are supported by cadaveric data in Part Two of this study.
PMCID: PMC3709930  PMID: 24436909
cervical spine; endoscopic; minimally invasive; morphometric; odontoidectomy; transnasal
12.  Anatomical study of suboccipital vertebral arteries and surrounding bony structures using virtual reality technology 
This work aimed to evaluate the efficacy of virtual reality (VR) technology in neurosurgical anatomy through a comparison of the virtual 3D microanatomy of the suboccipital vertebral arteries and their bony structures as part of the resection of tumors in the craniovertebral junction (CVJ) of 20 patients compared to the actual microanatomy of the vertebral arteries of 15 cadaveric headsets.
The study was conducted with 2 groups of data: a VR group composed of 20 clinical cases and a physical body group (PB group) composed of 15 cadaveric headsets. In the VR group, the dissection and measurements of the vertebral arteries were simulated on a Dextroscope. In the PB group, the vertebral arteries in the cadaver heads were examined under a microscope and anatomical measurements of VA and bony structures were performed. The length and course of the vertebral arteries and its surrounding bony structures in each group were compared.
The distances from the inferior part of the transverse process foramen (TPF) of C1 to the inferior part of TPF of C2 were 17.68±2.86 mm and 18.4±1.82 mm in the PB and VR groups, respectively. The distances between the middle point of the posterior arch of the atlas and the medial intersection of VA on the groove were 17.35±2.23 mm in the PB group and 18.13±2.58 mm in the VR group. The distances between the middle line and the entrance of VA to the lower rim of TPF of Atlas were 28.64±2.67 mm in PB group and 29.23±2.89 mm in VR group. The diameters of the vertebral artery (VA) at the end of the groove and foramen of C2 transverse process were 4.02±046 mm and 4.25±0.51 mm, respectively, in the PB group and 3.54±0.44 mm and 4.47±0.62 mm, respectively, in VR group. The distances between the VA lumen center and midline of the foramen magnum at the level of dural penetration was 10.4±1.13 mm in the PB group and 11.5±1.34 mm in the VR group (P>0.05).
VR technology can accurately simulate the anatomical features of the suboccipital vertebral arteries and their bony structures, which facilitates the planning of individual surgeries in the CVJ.
PMCID: PMC4031225  PMID: 24829084
Cerebral Revascularization; Vertebral Artery; Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy
13.  Multiparametric statistical correlations between paranasal sinus anatomic variations and chronic rhinosinusitis 
Improvements in functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS) and computed tomography (CT) have concurrently increased interest in the anatomy of the paranasal region. Common anatomical variations are not rare in patients with chronic paranasal sinusitis. The aim of this retrospective study was to analyze the incidence of anatomic variations of the lateral nasal wall in a series of 200 patients with persistent symptoms of rhinosinusitis, after failure of medical therapies, and their correlation with paranasal sinus disease. A detailed analysis of CT scans showed that 140 of 200 (70%) patients had anatomic variations. In particular, 122 patients (87%) were affected by common anatomic variations, and 18 patients (13%) with uncommon variations. There were 85 (60.7%) male and 55 (39.3%) females with ages ranging from 13 to 77 years (mean 45.5 years). The maxillary sinus was most commonly involved, followed by the anterior ethmoid, frontal sinus, posterior ethmoid and sphenoid sinus. Statistically significant association was found between the presence of common anatomic variations – septal deviation, bilateral concha bullosa, medial deviation of uncinate process, Haller cell, ethmoidal bulla hypertrophic, agger nasi cell – and the presence of sinus mucosal disease (p < 0.05). There was no significant correlation between other common and uncommon anatomic variations and mucosal pathologies. The associations were evaluated using the Fisher's exact test, and compared with those reported in the literature. Considering the results obtained, we believe that some anatomic variations may increase the risk of sinus mucosal disease. We therefore emphasize the importance of a careful evaluation of CT study in patients with persistent symptoms and recurrent chronic rhinosinusitis in order to identify those with anatomical variations that may have an increased risk of developing rhinosinusitis.
PMCID: PMC3468938  PMID: 23093814
Anatomic variations; Chronic rhinosinusitis; Paranasal sinuses; Computed tomography; Endoscopic sinus surgery
14.  Modified transcorporeal anterior cervical microforaminotomy for cervical radiculopathy: a technical note and early results 
European Spine Journal  2007;16(9):1387-1393.
A prospective analysis of the first twenty patients operated for cervical radiculopathy by a new modification of transcorporeal anterior cervical foraminotomy technique. To evaluate early results of a functional disc surgery in which decompression for the cervical radiculopathy is done by drilling a hole in the upper vertebral body and most of the disc tissue is preserved. Earlier approaches to cervical disc surgery either advocated simple discectomy or discectomy with fusion, ultimately leading to loss of motion segment. Posterior foraminotomy does not address the more common anterior lesion. Twenty patients suffering from cervical radiculopathy not responding to conservative treatment were chosen for the new technique. Upper vertebral transcorporeal foraminotomy was performed with the modified technique in all the patients. All the patients experienced immediate/early relief of symptoms. No complications of vertebral artery injury, Horner’s syndrome or recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy were noted. Modified transcorporeal anterior cervical microforaminotomy is an effective treatment for cervical radiculopathy. It avoids unnecessary violation of the disc space and much of the bony stabilizers of the cervical spine. Short-term results of this technique are quite encouraging. Longer-term analysis can help in outlining the true benefits of this technique.
PMCID: PMC2200760  PMID: 17203272
Cervical radiculopathy; Transcorporeal; Foraminotomy
15.  Morphometric Study of Hypoglossal Nerve and Facial Nerve on the Submandibular Region in Korean 
This study was performed to determine the anatomical landmarks and optimal dissection points of the facial nerve (FN) and the hypoglossal nerve (HGN) in the submandibular region to provide guidance for hypoglossal-facial nerve anastomosis (HFNA).
Twenty-nine specimens were obtained from 15 formalin-fixed adult cadavers. Distances were measured based on the mastoid process tip (MPT), common carotid artery bifurcation (CCAB), and the digastric muscle posterior belly (DMPB).
The shortest distance from the MPT to the stylomastoid foramen was 14.1±2.9 mm. The distance from the MPT to the FN origin was 8.6±2.8 mm anteriorly and 5.9±2.8 mm superiorly. The distance from the CCAB to the crossing point of the HGN and the internal carotid artery was 18.5±6.7 mm, and that to the crossing point of the HGN and the external carotid artery was 15.1±5.7 mm. The distance from the CCAB to the HGN bifurcation was 26.6±7.5 mm. The distance from the digastric groove to the HGN, which was found under the DMPB, was about 35.8±5.7 mm. The distance from the digastric groove to the HGN, which was found under the DMPB, corresponded to about 65.5% of the whole length of the DMPB.
This study provides useful information regarding the morphometric anatomy of the submandibular region, and the presented morphological data on the nerves and surrounding structures will aid in understanding the anatomical structures more accurately to prevent complications of HFNA.
PMCID: PMC3393858  PMID: 22792420
Facial nerve; Hypoglossal nerve; Morphometric anatomy
16.  Damage to the anterior arcuate fasciculus predicts non-fluent speech production in aphasia 
Brain  2013;136(11):3451-3460.
Non-fluent aphasia implies a relatively straightforward neurological condition characterized by limited speech output. However, it is an umbrella term for different underlying impairments affecting speech production. Several studies have sought the critical lesion location that gives rise to non-fluent aphasia. The results have been mixed but typically implicate anterior cortical regions such as Broca’s area, the left anterior insula, and deep white matter regions. To provide a clearer picture of cortical damage in non-fluent aphasia, the current study examined brain damage that negatively influences speech fluency in patients with aphasia. It controlled for some basic speech and language comprehension factors in order to better isolate the contribution of different mechanisms to fluency, or its lack. Cortical damage was related to overall speech fluency, as estimated by clinical judgements using the Western Aphasia Battery speech fluency scale, diadochokinetic rate, rudimentary auditory language comprehension, and executive functioning (scores on a matrix reasoning test) in 64 patients with chronic left hemisphere stroke. A region of interest analysis that included brain regions typically implicated in speech and language processing revealed that non-fluency in aphasia is primarily predicted by damage to the anterior segment of the left arcuate fasciculus. An improved prediction model also included the left uncinate fasciculus, a white matter tract connecting the middle and anterior temporal lobe with frontal lobe regions, including the pars triangularis. Models that controlled for diadochokinetic rate, picture-word recognition, or executive functioning also revealed a strong relationship between anterior segment involvement and speech fluency. Whole brain analyses corroborated the findings from the region of interest analyses. An additional exploratory analysis revealed that involvement of the uncinate fasciculus adjudicated between Broca’s and global aphasia, the two most common kinds of non-fluent aphasia. In summary, the current results suggest that the anterior segment of the left arcuate fasciculus, a white matter tract that lies deep to posterior portions of Broca’s area and the sensory-motor cortex, is a robust predictor of impaired speech fluency in aphasic patients, even when motor speech, lexical processing, and executive functioning are included as co-factors. Simply put, damage to those regions results in non-fluent aphasic speech; when they are undamaged, fluent aphasias result.
PMCID: PMC3808690  PMID: 24131592
aphasia; speech production; non-fluent speech; arcuate fasciculus; uncinate fasciculus
17.  Understanding the formation of maxillary sinus in Japanese human foetuses using cone beam CT 
Surgical and Radiologic Anatomy  2010;32(8):745-751.
The formation of the maxillary sinus (MS) is tied to the maturation of the craniofacial bones during development. The MS and surrounding bone matrices in Japanese foetal specimens were inspected using cone beam computed tomography relative to the nasal cavity (NC) and the surrounding bones, including the palatine bone, maxillary process, inferior nasal concha and lacrimal bone. The human foetuses analysed were 223.2 ± 25.9 mm in crown-rump length (CRL) and ranged in estimated age from 20 to 30 weeks of gestation. The amount of bone in the maxilla surrounding the MS increased gradually between 20 and 30 weeks of gestation. Various calcified structures that formed the bone matrix were found in the cortical bone of the maxilla, and these calcified structures specifically surrounded the deciduous tooth germs. By 30 weeks of gestation, the uncinate process of the ethmoid bone formed a border with the maxilla. The distance from the midline to the maximum lateral surface border of the MS combined with the width from the midline to the maximum lateral surface border of the inferior nasal concha showed a high positive correlation with CRL in Japanese foetuses. There appears to be a complex correlation between the MS and NC formation during development in the Japanese foetus. Examination of the surrounding bone indicated that MS formation influences maturation of the maxilla and the uncinate process of the ethmoid bone during craniofacial bone development.
PMCID: PMC2945628  PMID: 20490493
Cone beam CT; Maxillary sinus; Inferior nasal concha; Deciduous tooth; Development
18.  Morphometric Relationship between the Cervicothoracic Cord Segments and Vertebral Bodies 
The objective of this study was to investigate the morphologic characteristics between the vertebral body and the regions of the cervical and thoracic spinal cords where each rootlets branch out.
Sixteen adult cadavers (12 males and 4 females) with a mean age of 57.9 (range of 33 to 70 years old) were used in this study. The anatomical relationship between the exit points of the nerve roots from the posterior root entry zone at each spinal cord segment and their corresponding relevant vertebral bodies were also analyzed.
Vertical span of the posterior root entry zone between the upper and lower rootlet originating from each spinal segment ranged from 10-12 mm. The lengths of the rootlets from their point of origin at the spinal cord to their entrance into the intervertebral foramen were 5.9 mm at the third cervical nerve root and increased to 14.5 mm at the eighth cervical nerve root. At the lower segments of the nerve roots (T3 to T12), the posterior root entry zone of the relevant nerve roots had a corresponding anatomical relationship with the vertebral body that is two segments above. The posterior root entry zones of the sixth (94%) and seventh (81%) cervical nerve roots were located at a vertebral body a segment above from relevant segment.
Through these investigations, a more accurate diagnosis, the establishment of a better therapeutic plan, and a decrease in surgical complications can be expected when pathologic lesions occur in the spinal cord or vertebral body.
PMCID: PMC3488649  PMID: 23133729
Spinal; Cord; Nerve root; Cervical spine; Thoracic spine; Cadaveric study
19.  Language networks in semantic dementia 
Brain  2009;133(1):286-299.
Cognitive deficits in semantic dementia have been attributed to anterior temporal lobe grey matter damage; however, key aspects of the syndrome could be due to altered anatomical connectivity between language pathways involving the temporal lobe. The aim of this study was to investigate the left language-related cerebral pathways in semantic dementia using diffusion tensor imaging-based tractography and to combine the findings with cortical anatomical and functional magnetic resonance imaging data obtained during a reading activation task. The left inferior longitudinal fasciculus, arcuate fasciculus and fronto-parietal superior longitudinal fasciculus were tracked in five semantic dementia patients and eight healthy controls. The left uncinate fasciculus and the genu and splenium of the corpus callosum were also obtained for comparison with previous studies. From each tract, mean diffusivity, fractional anisotropy, as well as parallel and transverse diffusivities were obtained. Diffusion tensor imaging results were related to grey and white matter atrophy volume assessed by voxel-based morphometry and functional magnetic resonance imaging activations during a reading task. Semantic dementia patients had significantly higher mean diffusivity, parallel and transverse in the inferior longitudinal fasciculus. The arcuate and uncinate fasciculi demonstrated significantly higher mean diffusivity, parallel and transverse and significantly lower fractional anisotropy. The fronto-parietal superior longitudinal fasciculus was relatively spared, with a significant difference observed for transverse diffusivity and fractional anisotropy, only. In the corpus callosum, the genu showed lower fractional anisotropy compared with controls, while no difference was found in the splenium. The left parietal cortex did not show significant volume changes on voxel-based morphometry and demonstrated normal functional magnetic resonance imaging activation in response to reading items that stress sublexical phonological processing. This study shows that semantic dementia is associated with anatomical damage to the major superior and inferior temporal white matter connections of the left hemisphere likely involved in semantic and lexical processes, with relative sparing of the fronto-parietal superior longitudinal fasciculus. Fronto-parietal regions connected by this tract were activated normally in the same patients during sublexical reading. These findings contribute to our understanding of the anatomical changes that occur in semantic dementia, and may further help to explain the dissociation between marked single-word and object knowledge deficits, but sparing of phonology and fluency in semantic dementia.
PMCID: PMC2801321  PMID: 19759202
semantic dementia; semantic knowledge; diffusion tensor-based tractography; functional MRI; voxel-based morphometry
20.  Ultrasound anatomy of the neck: The infrahyoid region 
Journal of Ultrasound  2010;13(3):85-89.
The infrahyoid region of the neck includes the visceral, anterior cervical, posterior cervical, carotid, retropharyngeal, and perivertebral spaces. The visceral space contains the thyroid, parathyroid glands, larynx, hypopharynx, the cervical trachea, and esophagus, the recurrent laryngeal nerve. The carotid space contains two parts, which extend from the skull base to the aortic arch and are delimited by the three layers of the deep cervical fascia (superficial, middle, and deep). It contains the internal carotid artery, the internal jugular vein, cranial nerves (IX–XII), the sympathetic plexus (suprahyoid compartment), the common carotid artery, the internal jugular vein, vagus nerve (infrahyoid compartment). The retropharyngeal space is a midlinespace containing adipose tissue that extends from the skull base to the upper mediastinum. It is located posterior to the pharynx and cervical esophagus, anterior to the danger area and the perivertebral space.
The perivertebral space extends from the skull base to the clavicles and includes two parts: prevertebral and paraspinal. The prevertebral space includes the prevertebral muscles (long muscles of the neck and head), the scalene muscles (anterior, middle, and posterior), the roots of the brachial plexus, the phrenic nerve, the vertebral arteries and veins, and the vertebral bodies. The paraspinal space contains the paraspinal muscles and the posterior elements of the cervical spine.
The posterior cervical space is a deep space located posterior to the sternocleidomastoid muscle. It contains the accessory nerve, the accessory chain lymph nodes, the pre-axillary component of the brachial plexus, and the dorsal scapular nerve. The anterior cervical space is located deep to the strap muscles and sternocleidomastoid muscle. It surrounds the front and sides of the visceral space and is related posteriorly to the carotid space. This article reviews the ultrasound features of the structures located in the infrahyoid region of the neck.
PMCID: PMC3552675  PMID: 23396844
Ultrasound; Anatomy; Neck
21.  Three-dimensional volume-rendered multidetector CT imaging of the posterior inferior pancreaticoduodenal artery: its anatomy and role in diagnosing extrapancreatic perineural invasion 
Cancer Imaging  2013;13(4):580-590.
Extrapancreatic perineural spread in pancreatic adenocarcinoma contributes to poor outcomes, as it is known to be a major contributor to positive surgical margins and disease recurrence. However, current staging classifications have not yet taken extrapancreatic perineural spread into account. Four pathways of extrapancreatic perineural spread have been described that conveniently follow small defined arterial pathways. Small field of view three-dimensional (3D) volume-rendered multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) images allow visualization of small peripancreatic vessels and thus perineural invasion that may be associated with them. One such vessel, the posterior inferior pancreaticoduodenal artery (PIPDA), serves as a surrogate for extrapancreatic perineural spread by pancreatic adenocarcinoma arising in the uncinate process. This pictorial review presents the normal and variant anatomy of the PIPDA with 3D volume-rendered MDCT imaging, and emphasizes its role as a vascular landmark for the diagnosis of extrapancreatic perineural invasion from uncinate adenocarcinomas. Familiarity with the anatomy of PIPDA will allow accurate detection of extrapancreatic perineural spread by pancreatic adenocarcinoma involving the uncinate process, and may potentially have important staging implications as neoadjuvant therapy improves.
PMCID: PMC3893903  PMID: 24434918
Pancreatic adenocarcinoma; perineural invasion; posterior inferior pancreaticoduodenal artery
22.  Freehand determination of the trajectory angle for cervical lateral mass screws: how accurate is it? 
European Spine Journal  2011;20(6):972-976.
Different methods of lateral mass screw placement in the cervical spine have been described with separate trajectories for each technique in the sagittal and parasagittal planes. In the latter, plane 30° has been recommended in the modified Magerl’s technique as the optimum angle to avoid injury to the vertebral artery and nerve root. The estimation of this angle remains arbitrary and very much operator dependant. The aim of this study was to assess how accurately the lateral trajectory angle of 30° is achieved by visual estimation amongst experienced surgeons in a tertiary spinal unit and to determine the likelihood of neurovascular injury during the procedure. We chose an anatomical ‘sawbone’ model of the cervical spine with simulated lordosis. The senior author marked the entry points. Five spinal consultants and five senior spinal fellows were asked to insert 1.6-mm K wires into the lateral masses of C3 to C6 bilaterally at 30° to the midsagittal plane using the marked entry points. The lateral angulation in the transverse plane was measured using a custom protractor and documented for each surgeon at each level and side. The mean and standard deviation (SD) of the data were obtained to determine the inter observer variability. Utilising this data, measurements were then made on a normal axial computerised tomography (CT) scan of the cervical spine of an anonymous patient to determine if there would have been any neurovascular compromise. Among the 10 surgeons, a total of 80 insertion angles were measured from C3 to C6 on either side. The overall mean angle of insertion was 25.15 (range 20.4–34.8). The overall SD was 4.78. Amongst the 80 measurements between the ten surgeons, two episodes of theoretical vertebral artery violation were observed when the angles were simulated on the CT scan. A moderate but notable variability in trajectory placement exists between surgeons during insertion of cervical lateral mass screws. Freehand estimation of 30° is not consistently achieved between surgeons and levels. In patients with gross degenerative or deformed cervical spine anatomy, this may increase the risk of neurovascular injury. The use of the ipsilateral lamina as an anatomical reference plane is supported.
PMCID: PMC3099156  PMID: 21279393
Cervical spine; Lateral mass screw; Surgical technique; Reliability
23.  Morphometry of stylomastoid foramen and its clinical application in facial nerve block 
Saudi Journal of Anaesthesia  2015;9(1):60-63.
Stylomastoid foramen is an important site for Nadbath facial nerve block. Exact localization of foramen holds the key to success, thus decreasing the complications. Wide racial variation exists in position of stylomastoid foramen in different population groups.
The aim was to study the morphometry of stylomastoid foramen and its location with respect to nearby anatomical landmarks.
Materials and Methods:
A total of 100 dry skulls (60 male and 40 female) were studied to locate the position of center of stylomastoid foramen (CSMF) with respect to tip and anterior border of the mastoid process and jugular foramen (JF). Along with this angle between antero-posterior line passing through the tip of the mastoid process and line joining the tip with stylomastoid foramen was also measured.
In 83.51% sides of skulls, the most common position of foramen was found to be anterior to the line passing through anterior border of the mastoid process. The mean distance of center of foramen from the tip of the mastoid process was 15.26 ± 1.4 mm on right and 14.32 ± 1.8 on the left side (P < 0.001) and from JF was 12.28 ± 1.9 mm and 12.96 ± 2.1 mm on the right and left sides, respectively (P < 0.01). The position of CSMF was found at an angle of 66.57° ± 2.6° and 65.96° ± 1.8° on the right and left sides, respectively from the tip of the mastoid process.
This study makes possible the identification of the exact position of stylomastoid foramen and its application in facial nerve block.
PMCID: PMC4279352  PMID: 25558201
Facial nerve; morphometry; Nadbath block; stylomastoid foramen
24.  Complications of transpedicular screw fixation in the cervical spine 
European Spine Journal  2005;15(3):327-334.
Today, posterior stabilization of the cervical spine is most frequently performed by lateral mass screws or spinous process wiring. These techniques do not always provide sufficient stability, and anterior fusion procedures are added secondarily. Recently, transpedicular screw fixation of the cervical spine has been introduced to provide a one-stage stable posterior fixation. The aim of the present prospective study is to examine if cervical pedicle screw fixation can be done by low risk and to identify potential risk factors associated with this technique. All patients stabilized by cervical transpedicular screw fixation between 1999 and 2002 were included. Cervical disorders included multisegmental degenerative instability with cervical myelopathy in 16 patients, segmental instability caused by rheumatoid arthritis in three, trauma in five and instability caused by infection in two patients. In most cases additional decompression of the spinal cord and bone graft placement were performed. Pre-operative and post-operative CT-scans (2-mm cuts) and plain X-rays served to determine changes in alignment and the position of the screws. Clinical outcome was assessed in all cases. Ninety-four cervical pedicle screws were implanted in 26 patients, most frequently at the C3 (26 screws) and C4 levels (19 screws). Radiologically 66 screws (70%) were placed correctly (maximal breach 1 mm) whereas 20 screws (21%) were misplaced with reduction of mechanical strength, slight narrowing of the vertebral artery canal (<25%) or the lateral recess without compression of neural structures. However, these misplacements were asymptomatic in all cases. Another eight screws (9%) had a critical breach. Four of them showed a narrowing of the vertebral artery canal of more then 25%, in all cases without vascular problems. Three screws passed through the intervertebral foramen, causing temporary paresis in one case and a new sensory loss in another. In the latter patient revision surgery was performed. The screw was loosened and had to be corrected. The only statistically significant risk factor was the level of surgery: all critical breaches were seen from C3 to C5. Percutaneous application of the screws reduced the risk for misplacement, although this finding was not statistically significant. There was also a remarkable learning curve. Instrumentation with cervical transpedicular screws results in very stable fixation. However, with the use of new techniques like percutaneous screw application or computerized image guidance there remains a risk for damaging nerve roots or the vertebral artery. This technique should be reserved for highly selected patients with clear indications and to highly experienced spine surgeons.
PMCID: PMC3489301  PMID: 15912352
Cervical spine; Pedicle screw fixation; Complication; Posterior fusion
25.  Neurovascular risks of sacral screws with bicortical purchase: an anatomical study 
European Spine Journal  2007;16(9):1519-1523.
The aim of this cadaver study is to define the anatomic structures on anterior sacrum, which are under the risk of injury during bicortical screw application to the S1 and S2 pedicles. Thirty formaldehyde-preserved human male cadavers were studied. Posterior midline incision was performed, and soft tissues and muscles were dissected from the posterior part of the lumbosacral region. A 6 mm pedicle screw was inserted between the superior facet of S1 and the S1 foramen. The entry point of the S2 pedicle screw was located between S1 and S2 foramina. S1 and S2 screws were placed on both right and the left sides of all cadavers. Then, all cadavers were turned into supine position. All abdominal and pelvic organs were moved away and carefully observed for any injury. The tips of the sacral screws were marked and the relations with the anatomic structures were defined. The position of the sacral screws relative to the middle and lateral sacral arteries and veins, and the sacral sympathetic trunk were measured. There was no injury to the visceral organs. In four cases, S1 screw tip was in direct contact with middle sacral artery. In two cases, S1 screw tip was in direct contact with middle sacral vein. It was observed that the S1 screw tips were in close proximity to sacral sympathetic trunk on both right and the left sides. The tip of the S2 screw was in contact with middle sacral artery on the left side only in one case. It is found that the tip of the S2 screw was closely located with the middle sacral vein in two cases. The tip of the S2 pedicle screw was in contact with the sacral sympathetic trunk in eight cases on the right side and seven cases on the left side. Lateral sacral vein was also observed to be disturbed by the S1 and S2 screws. As a conclusion, anterior cortical penetration during sacral screw insertion carries a risk of neurovascular injury. The risk of sacral sympathetic trunk and minor vascular structures together with the major neurovascular structures and viscera should be kept in mind.
PMCID: PMC2200745  PMID: 17846804
Sacral screw; Spine surgery; Anatomy; Complication

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