The shape of the lumbar vertebral canal in newborns

ATİLLA B., Yazici M., Kopuz C., Bariş S., Balçik C.

Spine, vol.22, no.21, pp.2469-2472, 1997 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 22 Issue: 21
  • Publication Date: 1997
  • Doi Number: 10.1097/00007632-199711010-00001
  • Journal Name: Spine
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.2469-2472
  • Keywords: Spinal canal shape, Spinal stenosis, Trefoil configuration
  • Ondokuz Mayıs University Affiliated: Yes


Study Design. This study used geometric measurement criteria to assess the incidence of a trefoil spinal canal configuration in neonates. Objectives. To examine the shape of the neonatal lumbar vertebral canal with regard to its shape and the incidence of trefoilness. Summary of Background Data. Many studies consider the trefoil canal to be a developmental feature. Because of lack of neonatal samples it is still unknown whether some individuals are prone to develop a trefoil spinal canal because of genetically determined factors. Methods. The last two lumbar vertebrae of 31 term neonatal cadavers from the collection of the Anatomy Department of Ondokuz Mayis University were examined. After removal, the vertebrae were processed and embedded in paraffin blocks to enable accurate sectioning at the pedicle level. Subsequently, unmagnified images were obtained through a color photocopy machine. These two-dimensional images were digitalized, and accurate measurements were made to determine the circularity and the trefoilness. Results. Trefoilness assessment indicated that the trefoil- shaped spinal canal does not exist in newborns. The spinal canal at this age is mostly dome-shaped. Conclusions. In accordance with the previous hypotheses made by other authors, the authors of this study found that the trefoil shpae of the lumbar vertebra does not occur at the end of the intrauterine period.