Türk Nöroşirürji Dergisi 2016 , Vol 26 , Num 2
Morphometric and Radiological Characteristics of the Fetal Spine and Spinal Cord
Yusuf İZCİ1, Cahit KURAL1, Erhan ARSLAN2, Özkan TEHLİ1
1Gülhane Askeri Tıp Akademisi, Beyin ve Sinir Cerrahisi Anabilim Dalı, Ankara, Türkiye
2Keçiören Eğitim ve Araştırma Hastanesi, Nöroşirürji Kliniği, Ankara, Türkiye
AIM: The morphological and radiological structure of the adult spine and spinal cord is currently well known. However, the information on the child’s spine and spinal cord is inadequate. We thought that the evaluation of this region in human fetuses is important in order to better understand the morphological structure of this region in children, especially in newborns.

MATERIAL and METHODS: Microsurgical dissections were performed in 15 normal human fetuses in order to expose the lumbar spine, spinal cord, conus medullaris and cauda equina. The study was conducted using microsurgical tools and techniques. The detailed morphological and radiological structure of the lumbar spine and spinal cord was investigated.

RESULTS: The paravertebral muscles of the fetuses had a loose connective tissue and were easily separated from the spine when compared with adults. The dura mater was torn during laminectomy in some samples because of the thin structure of the fetal dura. The roots leaving the spinal cord formed the spinal ganglion just after the exit and then ran into the psoas major inferolaterally to form the lumbosacral plexus. This plexus was spread over a larger area and had a more fragile architecture than in adults. The rootlets that were laid into the fatty medium in the intradural space formed the cauda equina. They had a very loose structure because of less myelination. It was easy to identify the filum terminale among the rootlets due to its midline location.

CONCLUSION: The spine and spinal cord of human fetuses have a loose and fragile architecture compared to adults. Therefore, one should be careful during breach presentation to prevent lumbar spine, spinal cord and lumbosacral plexus trauma. Anahtar Kelimeler : Fetus, Spine, Spinal cord, Trauma