Computerized Tomographic Morphometric Analysis of the Cervical Spine

DS Evangelopoulos*, 1, 3, P Kontovazenitis1, S Kouris2, X Zlatidou2, LM Benneker3, JA Vlamis1, DS Korres1, N Efstathopoulos4
1 3rd Orthopaedic Department, University of Athens, KAT hospital, Athens, Greece
2 Radiology Department, KAT Hospital, Athens, Greece
3 Orthopaedic Department, University of Bern, Inselspital, Bern, Switzerland
4 2nd Orthopaedic Department, University of Athens, Konstantopoulion Hospital, Athens, Greece

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© Evangelopoulos et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the 3rd Orthopaedic Department, University of Athens, “KAT Hospital”, 48 Lemesou str. Athens, Greece; Tel: +306932214079; E-mail:



Detailed knowledge of cervical canal and transverse foramens’ morphometry is critical for understanding the pathology of certain diseases and for proper preoperative planning. Lateral x-rays do not provide the necessary accuracy. A retrospective morphometric study of the cervical canal was performed at the authors’ institution to measure mean dimensions of sagittal canal diameter (SCD), right and left transverse foramens’ sagittal (SFD) and transverse (TFD) diameters and minimum distance between spinal canal and transverse foramens (dSC-TF) for each level of the cervical spine from C1-C7, using computerized tomographic scans, in 100 patients from the archives of the Emergency Room.


Significant differences for SCD were detected between C1 and the other levels of the cervical spine for both male and female patients. For the transverse foramen, significant differences in sagittal diameters were detected at C3, C4, C5 levels. For transverse diameters, significant differences at C3 and C4 levels. A significant difference of the distance between the transverse spinal foramen and the cervical canal was measured between left and right side at the level of C3. This difference was equally observed to male and female subjects.


CT scan can replace older conventional radiography techniques by providing more accurate measurements on anatomical elements of the cervical spine that could facilitate diagnosis and preoperative planning, thus avoiding possible trauma to the vertebral arteries during tissue dissection and instrument application.

Keywords: Morphometric analysis, cervical spine, spinal canal, transverse foramen.