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No Shinkei Geka. 1982 Nov;10(11):1165-72.

[Computed tomography in developmental anomalies of craniocervical junction].

[Article in Japanese]


We reviewed 27 patients with developmental anomalies in craniovertebral junction, and special attention was paid to computed tomography (CT) findings in congenital atlantoaxial dislocation (AAD), basilar invagination and Chiari malformations. In ADD, CT clearly demonstrated the relationships of the atlas to the axis in axial plane. Four major types were distinguished; anteroposterior (6 cases), transverse (0 case), anteroposterior-transverse (4 cases) and rotatory (5 cases) dislocations. It was feasible by CT to analyse the pathomechanics in each individual with AAD. Soft tissue wad was shown on the posterior aspect of the odontoid in 7 out of 15 patients with AAD. Those two features, pathomechanics of AAD and intraspinal soft tissue wad, were felt to be important for patient's symptomatology. Basilar invagination presented in no patient as a single deformity and was always associated with other bony and neural abnormalities in 14 patients. Basilar invagination might be suggested of its existence in such a case as CT showing; (1) the odontoid at or above the level of the foramen magnum, (2) distinctive margin of the foramen magnum above the bottom of the posterior fossa, and (3) the posterior arch of the atlas at the same level as foramen magnum. Nevertheless, it is essential to confirm occipital hypoplasia by using either reformatting CT images in coronal and sagittal plane or conventional tomography; whereas high resolutional CT machine provides new dimension for demonstration of bony details. In Chiari malformations, plain CT scanned by high resolutional machine often makes it possible to delineate caudal migration of the cerebellar tonsils, so that it may be a choice of examination as a screening of the anomaly. In addition, metrizamide CT clearly demonstrated caudal migration both of cerebellar tonsils and medulla oblongata. Therefore, CT apparently exceeds other diagnostic modalities in evaluating this anomaly.

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