Blood Supply to the Spine
The blood supply to the spine varies depending on the region. In the cervical region, the vertebral artery provides the primary blood supply for the vertebrae, whereas the blood supply to the thoracic and lumbar regions comes from the segmental arteries. The sacral region gets its blood supply from the lateral sacral branches of the internal iliac arteries.
The vertebrae prominens is the seventh cervical vertebra. Although similar to other vertebrae, it has some distinct features that make it an atypical vertebra. Its spinous process is longer and nonbifid, and its transverse process terminates in a tubercle. The transverse processes are substantial, while the posterior and anterior roots are small. It also features a shallow sulcus for the eighth spinal nerve.
There are several arteries that supply the vertebrae. The vertebral arteries are subclavian, aorta, and posterior intercostal arteries. The iliolumbar artery is a branch of the internal iliac artery.
The annulus fibrosus is a sturdy, tire-like structure surrounding the nucleus pulposus. It is responsible for the spinal column’s rotational stability, and helps resist compressive stress. The annulus fibrosus is surrounded by a network of sturdy elastic collagen fibers. These fibers are oriented at various angles horizontally, and are bound together by a proteoglycan gel.
The IVD is the largest anatomical structure in the body, composed of three major anatomical regions. Although the nucleus pulposus is poorly innervated, nerve fibres originating in it penetrate the outer lamellae of the annulus fibrosus. These fibres are likely C-fibres, and they carry neurotransmitters. One of these neurotransmitters is substance P, which is associated with nociception.
Intervertebral discs are the soft tissue between the vertebrae and are a main source of shock absorption. They are composed of collagen and other proteins and are made up of layers called lamellae. These fibers slant at about 30 degrees and run in opposite directions to create a stable yet flexible structure.
The intervertebral disks are connected to each vertebrae by a series of arteries. The lumbar artery is the most common, coming from the lumbar spinal canal, while the posterior spinal canal branch originates from the anterior spinal canal.
The anterior spinal artery, also known as the anterior spinal artery, supplies the anterior 2/3 of the spinal cord with blood. This is the main arterial supply to the spinal cord, and is composed of ascending and descending branches of neighboring radicular arteries. The anterior spinal artery usually originates at the junction of the left and right rami of both VAs. The arteries then descend the length of the spinal cord.
The arteries enter the vertebral canal through a passageway called the intervertebral canal. The branches then divide into anterior and posterior vertebral canal branches. The anterior canal branches follow the surface of the vertebral body, and branch off to the red marrow while the posterior canal branches follow the vertebral arch.
Posterior Spinal Artery
The posterior spinal artery is a major artery that blood supply to the spine. It originates from the vertebral artery and passes through the spinal canal through the intervertebral foramina. This artery is responsible for blood supply to the grey and white spinal columns.
It is divided into three parts: anterior, posterior, and segmental. The posterior artery is the largest and is a major source of blood supply for the vertebrae. It is located behind the lumbar vertebrae.
The radiculomedullary artery is one of the two main arteries that supply the spinal cord. Both arteries branch from the aorta. The segmental artery then divides into several trunks: the posterior trunk is the radicular artery, which supplies the spinal cord’s nerve roots. The anterior trunk, on the other hand, connects to the anterior spinal artery. It has a hairpin-shaped configuration and is 0.5 to 1.0 mm in diameter.
The anterior spinal artery provides blood to the motor tracts. This artery is formed by merging vertebral arteries and receives reinforcement from six to eight radicular arteries. In contrast, the posterior spinal artery, which supplies the spinal column, originates directly from the vertebral arteries. It is the primary blood supply to the posterior columns and may be discontinuous or anastomose with the anterior spinal artery.
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