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Topography of the conus medullaris in sloths

Caudal anaesthesia was initially proposed in 1926, since when techniques have been evolved for lumbar and sacral anaesthesia. Essentially, epidural anaesthesia demands regional anatomy knowledge. We aimed to determine medullar conus topography in sloth (Bradipus variegatus), in order to supply information for epidural anaesthesia in this species. Four adult sloths were investigated, two males and two females, that died from natural causes and were donated by the Zoobotanic Park of Emilio Goeldi Museum, Belém/Pará. It was observed that the medullar conus lies between L3 and S1vertebrae, average length measuring 2.7cm, and that the lumbar swelling is located between L1 and L3 with an average length of 1.0cm. We concluded that the most appropriate site to perform epidural anesthesia in sloths is from L1 to L3 vertebral spaces.

Bradypus variegates; epidural anesthesia; spinal cord

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