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Arterial supply of the cervical spinal cord (with special reference to the radicular arteries)
Published in -
Volume: 170
Issue: 3
Pages: 311 - 329
Arterial supply of the cervical spinal cord has been discussed with special reference to the radicular arteries. Thirty‐one human spinal cords have been studied with postmortem positive pressure injection techniques using coloured, and radio‐opaque media. Observations concluded that radicular arteries were main sources of supply to spinal cord except at the highest segments (C1C2C3), where intracranial vertebral branches contribute. Average number of significant radicular arteries is two or three, in two‐thirds of the specimens only one was present. These feeding radicular arteries usually enter into the spinal canal through the intervertebral foramina accompanying C4C5C6 nerve roots to join the anterior and posterior spinal arteries. Anterior, and posterior spinal arteries are probably of segmental origin, and there is only a sparse anastomosis between them. The common radicular artery divides into an anterior, and a posterior branch of which one predominates in size. Cervical radicular arteries may originate from subclavian branches other than vertebral, of these ascending cervical branch of thyrocervical trunk is most important. A terminal zone probably exists at highest thoracic segments where craniocervical, and thoracic radicular flows meet. The filling of the anterior spinal trunk in the cervical region depends on the availability of at least one major anterior radicular artery. Interruption of radicular supply may be precipitated by trauma, spondylosis and other lesions resulting into ischaemia, and myelopathy; the risk is greater if there is only one radicular artery which is involved. Copyright © 1971 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.
About the journal
JournalThe Anatomical Record