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International Journal of Morphology

On-line version ISSN 0717-9502


SUMAYYA; FARUQI, Nafis A; ANSARI, Mohd Salahuddin  and  GHAUS, Farah. Morphometric Analysis of Lumbosacral Canal in Human Foetuses. Int. J. Morphol. [online]. 2011, vol.29, n.3, pp.868-875. ISSN 0717-9502.

Lumbosacral part of the spinal canal requires special attention because this is the site commonly involved in spina bifida, tethered cord syndrome and some other pathologies like fatty tumours in the spine, cysts and syrinxes. The diagnosis as well as the treatment of neural tube defects mandates an accurate knowledge of morphometry of lumbosacral vertebral canal. There are various reports on radiological morphometric measurements in human foetuses by various authors but these possess inherent variability due to imaging techniques, patient positioning, observer's measuring techniques and normal and pathological variations. To overcome all these limitations, direct measurements by vernier calliper were preferred. 30 Formalin preserved human foetuses, of all age groups and both sexes, free of congenital craniovertebral anomalies, were obtained from the museum of Dept. of Anatomy, J.N. Medical College AMU Aligarh for the present study. Foetuses were divided into five groups (I-V) based on their gestational ages. Group I foetuses were of less than 17 weeks, II of 17-20 weeks, III of 21-25 weeks, IV of 26-30 weeks and V of more than 30 weeks. Each group contained 6 foetuses having both male and female, 3 each. Morphometric parameters taken into account were length of lumbar canal, maximum transverse diameters of lumbar vertebral canal at different vertebral levels, heights of the posterior surfaces of bodies of all lumbar vertebrae and length of sacral canal. Readings of adjacent groups were compared and results were analyzed by using Student's 't' test. Lumbar canal starts growing in length significantly in group III foetuses onward. There was consistency in the growth of lumbar canal diameters with gestational age at all levels. Heights of vertebral bodies of Ist two lumbar vertebrae showed variability in some adjacent groups. The same in the next three grew constantly with the growth of foetuses. Sacral canal showed variable growth in lengths in different groups. Steady growth in the length and diameter of the lumbar canal may be used for approximate age of foetuses for medicolegal reasons.

Keywords : Lumbar canal; Sacral canal; Human foetuses; Foetal growth; Lumbar vertebrae; Foetal morphometry.

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