Send to

Choose Destination
Neurosciences (Riyadh). 2018 Apr;23(2):104-110. doi: 10.17712/nsj.2018.2.20170448.

Quantitative assessment of vertebral artery anatomy in relation to cervical pedicles: surgical considerations based on regional differences.

Author information

Division of Neurosurgery, Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. E-mail:



To quantify the anatomic relationship between the Cervical pedicle screw (CPS), vertebral artery (VA), and related anatomic structures in the Saudi population.


This retrospective single center study included 50 consecutive patients (35 males) with normal neck findings on computed tomography angiography performed for trauma or vascular evaluation between 2012 and 2014. Radiologic parameters were assessed and correlated with age, weight, height, and body mass index (BMI).


Mean age, weight, height, and BMI were 45.74+/-18.93 years, 79.72+/-21.80 kg, 164.74+/-11.53 cm, and 29.38+/-6.13 kg/m2, respectively. Mean cervical pedicle diameter (PD) increased from the cranial to caudal vertebrae (p=0.0001). Mean free zone (FZ) value, defined as the distance between the lateral CP border and medial VA border, was 1 mm (range 0.95-1.16 mm). The VA entry into the transverse foramina was at C6 level on both the right 92% and left side in most patients 94%. However, the right and left side level of VA entry differed in 14% of individuals.


The PD and FZ are smaller in Saudi Arabians than in western populations. Assessment of VA entry at each level should be performed on an individual basis as the level of VA entry can differ in the same patient. Anatomic variations between different geographic areas should be studied to provide better surgical guidance.

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center