Morphologic Features of the Normal Human Cadaveric Spinal Cord


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Abstract

Study Design.The cross-sectional area and diameter of the normal cadaveric spinal cord at each segmental level were measured, and the morphologic features were presented.Objectives.To provide accurate anatomic descriptions and morphometric data of the human spinal cord.Summary of Background Data.There is a large individual variation in human spinal cord size, and no authorized standard of measurement has been established. There have been few detailed descriptions of the normal morphologic features of the spinal cord.Methods.The authors measured the cross-sectional area and diameter of the spinal cord at each segment from C2 to S3 in 12 cadaveric specimens, and the morphologic features of each segment were described.Results.The relative ratio of the cross-sectional area of each segment to that of the C3 segment was similar in all the specimens examined despite a large individual variation in absolute cord size. Each segment had distinct qualitative and quantitative morphologic features.Conclusions.The normal cross-sectional area of the spinal cord at any segment in an individual is calculable from measurements of a given single normal segment. This value appears to be an appropriate and practical standard of measurement of the normal morphologic features of the spinal cord.

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