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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 35  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 34-41

Magnetic resonance imaging scan of the dimensions of normal lumbar intervertebral foramina - An observational study

Pain Physician and Anatomist, MGM Medical College and Hospital, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Santanu P Mallick
Department of Anatomy, MGM Medical College, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijpn.ijpn_162_20

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Background: Intervertebral foramen (IVF) is an oval, round, or inverted teardrop shaped bilateral fibro osseous window throughout the entire vertebral column through which neurovascular structures pass. The lumber canal stenosis due to variations of narrowing of intervertebral foramina causes compression of exiting spinal nerve or other foraminal components, for which normal IVF dimensions must be known and understood thoroughly. Aims and Objectives: Although computed tomography scan remains very effective in the evaluation of osseous tissues, but being a fibro osseous canal, intervertebral foramina can be better evaluated by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan for superior resolution. Materials and Methods: Normal morphometric database of right and left lumber IVF of 195 normal adult males (96) and females (99) from different age groups (20–69 years) has been taken to draw conclusions from the data relevant to clinical practice and future research. MRI scan in the sagittal plane gives a complete view of the fibro osseous canal, whereas horizontal imaging (axial view) does not demonstrate the entire IVF on a single image. That's why all the measurements were taken from the sagittal plane. Results: All the values are evaluated with the subjects' age, sex, weight, height, and also with the left versus right sides. The development of this normal database should further allow for more meaningful evaluation of the dimensions of the IVFs in pathologic states. Although diagnosis can be suspected from the history and physical findings, knowledge of the specific anatomy of this clinically significant area with radiological support is very important in the differential diagnosis which helps in proper management. Conclusion: Therefore, it is really convincing that, with regard to morphometry of the spine by means of MRI, the future is very promising.

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