A New Landmark for Localizing the Site of the Subdental Synchondrosis Remnant: Application to Discerning Pathology from Normal on Imaging

Tubbs RS, Kirkpatrick CM, Fisahn C, Iwanaga J, Moisi MD, Hanscom DR, Chapman JR, Oskouian RJ.A New Landmark for Localizing the Site of the Subdental Synchondrosis Remnant: Application to Discerning Pathology from Normal on Imaging.World Neurosurg. 2016 Aug 30. pii: S1878-8750(16)30780-X. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2016.08.096.

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE:

We hypothesized that the entry site of the basivertebral vein into the basivertebral foramen of C2 might localize the subdental synchondrosis between the odontoid process and body of C2, which may be helpful for odontoid fracture classification.

METHODS:

Twenty-five dry adult C2 specimens underwent thin cut CT and were sectioned sagittally. The basivertebral foramen was then correlated to internal bony anatomy. 50 MRIs were reviewed and the location of the subdental synchondrosis determined.

RESULTS:

A basivertebral foramen was identified on the posterior surface of all dry C2 specimens. The openings were found at a distance of 30-44% on an inferosuperior point along the vertical height of C2. For bony specimens with a subdental synchondrosis remnant (75%), entry of acupuncture needles into the basivertebral foramen was always directly at the level of the synchondrosis remnant. For MRI, a subdental synchondrosis or its remnants were seen on all studies. The distance from the base of C2 to the subdental synchondrosis ranged from 9 to 13 mm. This equated to an inferosuperior point 32-43% along the vertical height of C2. A strong correlation existed when comparing the location of the basivertebral foramen of bony specimens and the subdental synchondrosis location on MRI.

CONCLUSIONS:

The basivertebral foramen is a consistently present anatomic reference point for the subdental synchondrosis even if the latter cannot be seen on conventional radiographic imaging. Our MRI data might also be useful in helping differentiate lesions affecting C2 from normal subdental cartilaginous remnants that can be encountered on imaging.