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Journal of Craniovertebral Junction and Spine
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 151-156

Optimal measurement for "posterolateral protrusion" of the vertebral artery at the craniovertebral junction using computed tomography angiography


1 Department of Orthopaedic surgery, Yokohama Rosai Hospital,Yokohama, Japan
2 Department of Medical Reserch and Management for Musculoskeltal Pain 22nd Century Medical and Reserch Center, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan

Correspondence Address:
Junichi Ohya
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Hongo 7-3-1, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo - 113-0033
Japan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0974-8237.147077

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Purpose: Among extraosseous abnormalities of the vertebral artery (VA) at the craniovertebral junction (CVJ), available evidence regarding "posterolateral protrusion," the VA running distant from the groove over the superior surface of the posterior arch of the atlas, is limited. The purpose of this study was to determine the optimal measurement to indicate posterolateral protrusion of the VA. Materials and Methods: Computed tomography angiography (CTA) images of 40 consecutive patients with cervical disease were reviewed. Ultimately, 66 arteries were included in this study. Five parameters predicted to indicate posterolateral protrusion of the VA were defined (A-E) and measured by two surgeons twice over a 2-week interval. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) were used to examine intra-observer reproducibility and inter-observer reliability. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was performed to determine the most optimal parameter to predict posterolateral protrusion of the VA. Results: Excellent inter-observer reliability and intra-observer reproducibility were obtained for all parameters (ICC = 0.87-0.99). Among them, parameter A, defined as the maximal length from the outer surface of the VA to the outer surface of the posterior arch of the atlas, was most accurately described posterolateral protrusion of the VA. The optimal cut-off value of parameter A obtained with ROC curves was 8.3 mm (sensitivity 97.5%, specificity 100%). Conclusions: The measurement in this study can quantitatively evaluate the posterolateral protrusion of the VA. Before posterior surgery at the CVJ, pre-operative CTA can help surgeons detect anomalous VA and reduce the risk of intra-operative VA injury.


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