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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.  Morphometric Analysis of Axis and Its Clinical Significance -An Anatomical Study of Indian Human Axis Vertebrae 
The atlas and axis vertebra have unique shape and complex relationship with vertebral artery. Fracture of dens of axis accounts for 7-27% of all cervical spine fractures, but surgeries in these regions are highly risky because of the reported incidences of vertebral artery injury.
Aim and Objectives
The study was designed to measure morphometric data of human axis vertebra, of Indian origin. The different anatomical parameters on dry specimen of human axis vertebrae were established and the results were compared with other studies.
Materials and Methods
Thirty intact human axis vertebrae were measured with digital vernier caliper and mini-inclinometer. Various linear and angular parameters of axis were observed.
The mean distance from the midline of body to the tip of transverse process of axis was 29.32 mm on right side and 29.06mm on left side. The mean distance from the midline of body to the lateral most edge of superior articulating facet was 22.8 mm on right side and 22.6 mm on left side. The mean value of anterior and posterior height of axis was 34.33±2.69mm and 30.56±2.78mm respectively. The anterior and posterior height of body of axis was 19.67 mm and 16.67mm respectively. Mean A-P and transverse diameter of inferior surface of axis was 15.42mm and 17.7mm respectively. Mean transverse diameter and mean A-P diameter of odontoid process was 9.32 mm and 10.1 mm respectively. Mean anterior and posterior height of the odontoid process was 14.66 mm and 13.89mm respectively. Mean of dens axis sagittal angle (angle between an axis that was imagined to pass longitudinally through the dens axis and the vertical line on a sagittal plane) was 13.23 degree. The shape of superior articulating facets of C2 varies from oval to circular. In the present study, 84% of SAF were oval and 16% were circular. Inferior articulating facets were circular in shape in 90% cases, and oval in 10% vertebra. Mean pedicle width was 10.07mm on right side and 10.52mm on left side. Mean transverse diameter of vertebral canal was 22.37±1.73mm. Mean of A-P diameter of vertebral canal at inlet was 18.31±2.05mm and mean of A-P diameter of vertebral canal at outlet was 14.84±1.63mm.
These results obtained from this study may be helpful for the surgeons in avoiding and minimizing complications such as vertebral artery injury, cranial nerve damage and injury to other vital structures while doing surgery around cranio-vertebral region.
PMCID: PMC4484059  PMID: 26155467
Axis; Dens; Morphometry; Inferior articulating facet; Superior articulating facet
3.  Applied Endoscopic Anatomical Evaluation of the Lacrimal Sac 
Dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR), a popular surgical procedure, has been performed using an endoscopic approach over recent years. Excellent anatomical knowledge is required for this endoscopic surgical approach. This study was performed in order to better evaluate the anatomical features of the lacrimal apparatus from cadavers in the Isfahan forensic center as a sample of the Iranian population.
Materials and Methods:
DCR was performed using a standard method on 26 cadaver eyes from the forensic center of Isfahan. The lacrimal sac was exposed completely, then the anatomical features of the lacrimal sac and canaliculus were measured using a specified ruler.
A total of 26 male cadaveric eyes were used, of which four (16.7%) were probably non-Caucasian. Two (8%) of the eyes needed septoplasty, one (4%) needed uncinectomy, and none needed turbinoplasty. Four (16%) lacrimal sacs were anterior to axilla, one (4%) was posterior and 20 (80%) were at the level of the axilla of the middle turbinate. The mean difference of distance from the nasal sill to the anterior edge of the lacrimal sac (from its mid-height) was 39.04 (±4.92) mm. The mean difference of distance from the nasal sill to the posterior edge of the lacrimal sac (from its mid-height) was 45.50 (±4.47) mm. The mean of width and length of the lacrimal sac was 7.54 (±1.44) mm and 13.16 (±5.37) mm, respectively. The mean difference of distance from the anterior edge of the lacrimal sac to the posterior edge of the uncinate process was 14.06 (±3.00) mm, while the mean difference of distance from the anterior nasal spine to the anterior edge of the lacrimal sac (from its mid-height) was 37.20 (±5.37) mm.The mean height of the fundus was 3.26 (±1.09) mm. The mean difference of distance from the superior punctum to the fundus was 12.70 (±1.45) mm, and from the inferior punctum to the fundus was 11.10 (±2.02) mm.
Given the differences between the various studies conducted in order to evaluate the position of the lacrimal sac, studies such as this can help to better identify the position of lacrimal sac during surgery based on ethnic differences. In addition, these studies can help novice surgeons to better navigate in a surgical scenario.
PMCID: PMC4461845  PMID: 26082903
Anatomy; Dacryocystorhinostomy; Lacrimal Apparatus Diseases; Paranasal Sinuses; Surgery
4.  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
5.  Virtual pathology of cervical radiculopathy based on 3D MR/CT fusion images: impingement, flattening or twisted condition of the compressed nerve root in three cases 
SpringerPlus  2015;4:123.
There have been several imaging studies of cervical radiculopathy, but no three-dimensional (3D) images have shown the path, position, and pathological changes of the cervical nerve roots and spinal root ganglion relative to the cervical bony structure. The objective of this study was to introduce a technique that enables the virtual pathology of the nerve root to be assessed using 3D magnetic resonance (MR)/computed tomography (CT) fusion images that show the compression of the proximal portion of the cervical nerve root by both the herniated disc and the preforaminal or foraminal bony spur in patients with cervical radiculopathy.
MR and CT images were obtained from three patients with cervical radiculopathy. 3D MR images were placed onto 3D CT images using a computer workstation.
The entire nerve root could be visualized in 3D with or without the vertebrae. The most important characteristic evident on the images was flattening of the nerve root by a bony spur. The affected root was constricted at a pre-ganglion site. In cases of severe deformity, the flattened portion of the root seemed to change the angle of its path, resulting in twisted condition.
The 3D MR/CT fusion imaging technique enhances visualization of pathoanatomy in cervical hidden area that is composed of the root and intervertebral foramen. This technique provides two distinct advantages for diagnosis of cervical radiculopathy. First, the isolation of individual vertebra clarifies the deformities of the whole root groove, including both the uncinate process and superior articular process in the cervical spine. Second, the tortuous or twisted condition of a compressed root can be visualized.
The surgeon can identify the narrowest face of the root if they view the MR/CT fusion image from the posterolateral-inferior direction. Surgeons use MR/CT fusion images as a pre-operative map and for intraoperative navigation. The MR/CT fusion images can also be used as educational materials for all hospital staff and for patients and patients’ families who provide informed consent for treatments.
PMCID: PMC4359697  PMID: 25793153
3D MR/CT fusion image; Cervical radiculopathy; Nerve root; Herniated disc; Bony spur; Twisted condition; Pathoimagiology; Microscopic surgery
6.  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
7.  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
8.  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
9.  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
10.  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
11.  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
12.  Unduly extensive uncinate process of pancreas in conjunction with pancreatico-duodenal fold 
Anatomy & Cell Biology  2015;48(1):81-83.
Anatomical variations of pancreatic head and uncinate process are rarely encountered in clinical practice. These variations are primarily attributed to the complex development of the pancreas. An unduly enlarged uncinate process of the pancreas overlapping the third part of duodenum was discovered during dissection. This malformation of the pancreatic uncinate process was considered to be due to excessive fusion between the ventral and dorsal buds during embryonic development. On further dissection, an avascular pancreatico-duodenal fold guarding the pancreatico-duodenal recess was observed. The enlarged uncinate process can cause compression of neurovascular structures and also cause compression of adjoining viscera. The pancreatico-duodenal recess becomes a potential site for internal herniation. This case is of particular interest to the gastroenterologists and surgeons performing surgical resections. Precise knowledge of embryogenesis of such pancreatic anomalies is necessary for understanding and thus treating many diseases of the pancreas.
PMCID: PMC4371185  PMID: 25806126
Pancreas; Uncinate process; Hypertrophy; Recess
13.  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
14.  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
15.  Anatomy of Axillary Nerve and Its Clinical Importance: A Cadaveric Study 
Axillary nerve is one of the terminal branches of posterior cord of brachial plexus, which is most commonly injured during numerous orthopaedic surgeries, during shoulder dislocation & rotator cuff tear. All these possible iatrogenic injuries are because of lack of awareness of anatomical variations of the nerve. Therefore, it is very much necessary to explore its possible variations and guide the surgeons to enhance the better clinical outcome by reducing the risk and complications.
Materials and Methods:
Twenty five cadavers (20 Males & 05 Females) making 50 specimens including both right and left sides were dissected as per standard dissection methods to find the origin, course, branches, distribution & exact location of the nerve beneath the deltoid muscle from important landmarks like: posterolateral aspect of acromion process, anteromedial aspect of tip of coracoid process, midpoint of deltoid muscle insertion (deltoid tuberosity of humerus) and from the midpoint of vertical length of deltoid muscle. The measurements were recorded and tabulated.
Statistical Analysis:
The measurements were entered in Microsoft excel and mean, proportion, standard deviation were calculated by using SPSS 16th version.
The axillary nerve was found to take origin from the posterior cord of brachial plexus (100%) dividing into anterior & posterior branches in Quadrangular space (88%) and supply deltoid muscle mainly. It also gave branches to teres minor muscle, shoulder joint capsule & superolateral brachial cutaneous nerve (100%). This study concluded that the mean distance of axillary nerve from the – anteromedial aspect of tip of coracoid process, posterolateral aspect of acromion process, midpoint of deltoid insertion & from the midpoint of vertical length of deltoid muscle measured to be (in cm) as 3.56±0.51, 7.4±0.99, 6.7±0.47 & 2.45±0.48 respectively. The mean vertical distance of entering point of axillary nerve from the anterior upper, mid middle upper & posterior upper deltoid border found to be (in cm): 4.94±0.86, 5.14±0.90 & 5.44±0.95 respectively and the horizontal anterior & horizontal posterior mean distance being 4.54±0.65 & 3.22±0.53 respectively. The mean height, mean width & mean depth of Quadrangular space measured to be (in cm): 2.23±0.40, 2.19±0.22 & 1.25±0.14 respectively.
The findings were found to be highly significant when males were compared with females but not significant when sides (right & left) were compared.
PMCID: PMC4413059  PMID: 25954611
Anatomy; Axillary Nerve; Deltoid muscle; Orthopaedic surgery; Shoulder region; Quadrilateral space syndrome
16.  An unusual course of the vertebral artery posterior to the nerve root in the inter-transverse space: a cadaveric study 
The V2 segment of the vertebral artery is very vulnerable to injury during cervical spine surgery. The incidence of vertebral artery injury during anterior cervical spine procedures is reported to be 0.22–2.77 %. This is partially due to its variable course while running in the transverse foramens of the cervical vertebrae.
Case presentation
The course of the vertebral artery in the dissected cadaver of a 79 year old female is presented. Dissection of the left vertebral artery showed that the 5th nerve root passes in front of the vertebral artery in the 4th intertransverse space. Further exploration showed that although vertebral artery at first passed at the back of the nerve root it curved downwards again and after passing underneath the 5th nerve root entered the 4th vertebral body. After making a loop in the left half of the vertebrae, vertebral artery ran anterior to the nerve root and after entering the 4th transverse foramen showed up in the 3rd intertransverse space. The shortest distance of the vertebral artery to the midline at the 4th vertebrae level was 4.78 mm.
To our knowledge this case is the first report of a nerve root lying anterior to the vertebral artery in the intertransverse space of the cervical spine. Additionally vertebral artery has never been reported to be so close to the midline. This report signifies the importance of obtaining MRI or contrast enhanced CT scan prior to any cervical spine surgery in the vicinity of the vertebral artery including corpectomies and also careful approach to the intertransverse space during the operation.
PMCID: PMC4430022  PMID: 25972925
Cervical; Vertebral artery; Nerve root
17.  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
18.  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
19.  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
20.  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
21.  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
22.  Detailed Anatomy for the Transoral Approach to the Craniovertebral Junction: An Exposure and Safety Study 
Objective The aim of this study was to demonstrate the anatomical structures of the transoral approach to the craniovertebral junction. We evaluated the necessary exposure field and the safety of this approach.
Methods Surgical operations with the transoral approach were performed on 36 cadaver specimens. The special anatomical structures were measured surrounding the exposure field with priorities given to measurements relating to the vertebral artery (VA). The anatomical relationships between the VA and nerves were observed.
Results The exposure field partly covered the vertebral basilar system confluent. The middle clivus to upper C3 vertebral body can be exposed by transoral approach. Cranial nerves and cervical nerves emerged from the caudal of vertebrobasilar artery and circumambulated anterolaterally, and some abnormalities were observed in the intracranial segment of vertebrobasilar artery. The safe field was in an inverted trapezoid shape, of which the widest point was 25.5 ± 4.5 mm to the midline at C1 transverse process level; the narrowest point was 11.2 ± 1.5 mm to the midline at the C2–3 level.
Conclusion Because the VA is the landmark of the safe field in this approach, surgeons should be very careful to avoid injuries of the VA and nerves while operating in the intracranial field or at the C2–3 level.
PMCID: PMC3969438  PMID: 24719800
anatomy; exposure; safe; transoral approach
23.  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
24.  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
25.  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

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