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International Journal of Recent Trends in Science and Technology, ISSN 2277-2812 E-ISSN: 2249-8109

Volume 9, Issue 1, November 2013 pp 08-13

Research Article

Computerized Tomographic Measurement of Thoracic Vertebral Morphology in South Indian Population


Latheesh Latheef1, Mrinal B Shetty1, Vivian D’ Almeida1, Rajesh Wilson2, Tinu Joseph2

1Assistant Professor, 2 Resident, Department of Orthopaedics, Fr. Muller Medical College, Mangalore, Karnataka, INDIA.


Academic Editor : Dr. Aher K.R.



Knowledge of the vertebral morphology has been seen to be crucial for the safe placement of screws in pedicle screw fixation of the spine .An analysis of the morphometric parameters of the thoracic vertebrae was done in 229 patients using computed tomography scans in south Indian population .The results show significant variation in the morphology of the vertebral body and the pedicle in Indian population when compared to other races. The measurements were seen to be greater in males than in females with the exception of the transverse angle of the pedicle. The vertebral body height was found to be progressively increasing from T1 to T12 levels and ranged from 5.8mm(cumulative) at T1 to 22.3mm (cumulative) at T12.The vertebral body width was found to decrease from T1 to T5 and again increase from T6 to T12.The cephalo-caudal height of the pedicle ranged from 7.8mm at T1 to 13mm at T12.The medio-lateral width of the pedicle was found to decrease from T1 to T5 and increase from T6 to T12; the smallest cumulative value being 4.4 mm at T4 and the largest being 6mm at T12.The cord length ranged from 30.8mm at T1 to 40.4mm at T12.The mean transverse angle of the pedicle was observed to reduce from 26.80 at T1 to 1.80  at T12.The pedicle sagittal angulation was seen to be lowest at T12 with a cumulative value of 11.570 and highest at T3 with a cumulative value of 17.580. The study shows that medio-lateral width of the pedicle is smaller from T4 to T7 levels for the use of standard pedicle screws, thus making their use difficult and risky. The cord length measurements according to the study allow the use of standard screws ranging from 25mm to 35mm.A wide variation in the dimensions is also observed between different individuals, demonstrating the need for computed tomography as a preoperative evaluation tool in each patient for choosing the appropriate implant and also to prevent complications.