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CT Assessment of the in vivo Osseous Lumbar Intervertebral Foramen: a Radiologic Study with Clinical Application
Objectives: The objective of this study was to investigate the dimensions of the osseous lumbar intervertebral foramen (IVF) regarding a sample without any clinical indication of spine pathology and, additionally, survey possible correlations of these measurements with clinical characteristics of the individuals.
Materials and Methods: CT images of spine-related asymptomatic individuals were examined on parasagittal and oblique projections for the evaluation of cranial foramen width (CrFW), caudal foramen width (CaFW), vertebral height (VH) and foraminal height (FH) in accordance with gender, age, height, weight, body mass index (BMI) and vertebral level.
Results: Overall, CT images of 73 individuals, 40 men and 33 women, with mean age 56.81 (± 14.79) years, mean height 1.69 (± 0.09) meters, mean weight 81.27 (± 18.14) kilograms and mean BMI 28.35 (± 5.62) were included. The maximum mean FW was the CaFWL1 and the minimum the CrFWL5, with values of 8.11 and 6.01 mm, respectively. Height and weight were presented as significantly bigger in men than women; however, women had bigger lumbar IVF values and no significant width measurement for IVF was morphoobserved at any level for either sex. Age showed a negative impact on the elderly by reducing height and the majority of FW measurements. Statistically important differences in accordance with BMI were not seen.
Conclusions: Data comparison with previous studies is ambiguous due to methodological differences and possible populational variations and they reveal just a glimpse of the in vivo lumbar IVF. Our data could have clinical application on lumbar spine interventions.
Keywords: intervertebral foramen, lumbar, osseous, in vivo, radiologic, neurosurgery, spine surgery, foraminoplasty