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Arquivos de Neuro-Psiquiatria

Print version ISSN 0004-282X

Arq. Neuro-Psiquiatr. vol.54 no.3 São Paulo Sept. 1996 

The shape of the human lumbar vertebral canal


A forma do canal vertebral lombar humano



Edmundo Zarzur

M.D. This investigation has been partially presented in the First Pan American Symposium on Regional Anesthesia, São Paulo, Brazil in March 4-6, 1993




Literature on the anatomy of the human vertebral column characterizes the shape of the lumbar vertebral canal as triangular. The purpose of the present study was to determine the precise shape of the lumbar vertebral canal. Ten lumbar vertebral columns of adult male cadavers were dissected. Two transverse sections were performed in the third lumbar vertebra. One section was performed at the level of the lower border of the ligamenta flava, and the other section was performed at the level of the pedicles. The shape of the lumbar vertebral canal at the level of the pedicles tends to be oval or circular, whereas the shape of the lumbar vertebral canal at the level of the lower border of the ligamenta flava is triangular. Thus, the shape of the human lumbar vertebral canal is not exclusively triangular, as reported in the literature. It is related to the level of the transversal section performed on the lumbar vertebra. This finding should be taken into consideration among factors involved in the spread of solutions introduced into the epidural space.

Key words: vertebral column, shape of the lumbar vertebral canal, epidural space.


A literatura sobre a anatomia da coluna vertebral descreve como sendo triangular o formato do canal vertebral na região lombar. O objetivo deste estudo é determinar a real forma do canal da coluna vertebral lombar.Dez colunas vertebrais de cadáveres de homens adultos foram dissecadas. Dois cortes transversais foram executados na terceira vértebra lombar. Um corte foi feito no nível das bordas inferiores de dois ligamentos amarelos vizinhos e o outro corte foi transversal, no nível dos pedículos. A forma do canal vertebral variou: no nível dos pedículos ela tende a ser oval ou circular e junto às bordas inferiores dos ligamentos amarelos passa a ser triangular. Portanto, a forma do canal vertebral lombar não é somente triangular; ela depende do nível em que se faz o corte transversal da vértebra. Estes achados devem ser levados em consideração entre os fatores envolvidos na difusão das soluções introduzidas no espaço peridural.

Palavras-chave: coluna vertebral, forma do canal vertebral lombar, espaço epidural.



Texto completo disponível apenas em PDF.

Full text available only in PDF format.



Acknowledgments - The author is thankful to Carlos Pereira Parsloe and Dr. Flávio Alóe for their helpful suggestions and for reviewing the manuscript.



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Aceite: 16-abril-1996.



This study was carried out at the Department of Surgery (Clinical Anatomy Branch) of the University of São Paulo Medical School, São Paulo and it was approved by the Committee on Human Ethics and Research
Dr. Edmundo Zarzur - Rua Ziembinski 314 - 05086-020 São Paulo SP - Brasil

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