The Infra-aortic Arteries of the Spine: Their Variability and Clinical Significance

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The infra-aortic spinal arteries caudal to the aortic bifurcation were Studied in 20 perinatal and adult cadavers to determine their irnport relative to eKtraforamlrcal ap-prooshfls to trie lower lumbar discs as well as their probable Fn certain cases of radiculomsd-ullary ischemia. Analysis of these specimens indicated that, despite considerable variation, the arteries to the L4-L5 and L5-S1 intervertebral foramens generally ware not related to the disc dorsolateraI zones where lateral surgical approaches are best accomplished. Also, the frequency in which the fourth as well as the fifth lumbar and all sacral segmental vessels were dependent on the posterior division of the hypogastric artery may help explain how spinal cord ischemia could occur in individuals with vulnerable cord vascular patterns and/or spinal arteriopathy after interruption of hypogastrie artery blood flow during pelvic operations.

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