Objectives: The Foramen Transversarium (FT) transmits the vertebral artery (except in C7 vertebra), vertebral veins and the sympathetic plexus that accompanies the vessels. The deformation and variation of this foramen may affect the anatomical course of vital vascular and neural structures and consequently cause pathological conditions. With the advent of newer surgical techniques for treatment of unstable cervical spine, awareness about morphological variations of cervical vertebrae and surrounding structures has become essential.
Aim: Aim of the study was to find the incidence and distribution of accessory foramina transversaria in cervical vertebrae with emphasis on their embryological basis and surgical importance.
Methods: Five hundred cervical vertebrae (typical and atypical) were collected from the Department of Anatomy. Each cervical vertebra was examined for the presence of accessory FT. They were also observed for the absence of FT.
Results: It was observed that accessory FT was found in 66 (13.2 %) vertebrae. Amongst these 17(25.75%) showed accessory FT bilaterally and 49 (74.24%) showed accessory FT on one side only. There was no significant difference in the presence of accessory FT on the two sides. Absence of FT was not seen.
Conclusions: Recognition of double FT has significant clinical importance as the course of vertebral artery may be distorted in such situations. It is of great relevance to neurophysicians, neurosurgeons and radiologists.
cervical vertebrae, accessory Foramina Transversaria, vertebral artery