Donald School Journal of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology

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VOLUME 2 , ISSUE 3 ( July-September, 2008 ) > List of Articles


Neuroscan of Normal and Abnormal Vertebrae and Spinal Cord

Ritsuko K Pooh

Keywords : Neuroscan of normal and abnormal vertebra,spinal development,spina bifida

Citation Information : Pooh RK. Neuroscan of Normal and Abnormal Vertebrae and Spinal Cord. Donald School J Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol 2008; 2 (3):9-18.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10009-1062

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 01-09-2009

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2008; The Author(s).


The vertebral body, neural arch and its processes develop from the sclerotome of the primitive mesodermal segments. After chondrification, separate ossification centres appear for the body and one for each of the neural arches. Vertebrae are composed of a body and a vertebral arch. The vertebral foramina, which consist of the vertebral arch and back of vertebral body, form the vertebral canal including and protecting the spinal cord. The vertebral arches are formed by two pedicles and two laminae which unite as a spinous process.

Relation between the vertebrae and spinal cord during pregnancy is interesting. In embryonal period, the CNS develops earlier than other part of embryonal structures and occupies approximately one third of the whole embryonal body. At the 3rd month of development the length of the spinal cord equals that of the vertebral column. The spinal nerves and the relationship of the spinal nerves to the vertebra are established. Therefore the spinal cord segment is at the same level as the corresponding vertebral level. In subsequent fetal period, however, fetal body structure including vertebral column develops faster than the neural tube. As the consequence of this different development of the column and nerves, caudal end of the spinal cord within the vertebral column relatively moves upward with advancing gestation and reaches to the level of the third lumber vertebra at birth.

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