This is a retrospective observational research utilizing computed tomography (CT) scans that were contrast-enhanced at a later time. The purpose of this research was to learn more about the segmental arteries in the thoracic region, including their anatomy and any potential changes.
Few cadaver studies have reported on the segmental arteries supplying the thoracic spine, but no research has reported on the use of contrast-enhanced CT in the upper and middle thoracic spine. Thoracic spine surgery, including anterior and posterior approaches and minimally invasive surgery, requires in-depth knowledge of the anatomical locations of the thoracic segmental arteries in order to prevent vascular damage.
Thoracic spine CT angiography patients from 2012 to 2021 were reviewed retrospectively. The anatomical course of the segmental arteries in the thoracic region was examined. Variations in anatomy were studied in terms of vertebral level and right/left segmental arteries. About 31 patients were surveyed, including 591 segmental arteries (15 men and 16 women, with a mean age of 55.8 years).
Segmental arteries were more longitudinally distributed in the upper thoracic area and more transversely distributed in the lower thoracic area, depending on the level of the vertebrae they were passing through. Segmental arteries between the thoracic spine (T3) and the upper back (L4-5) were shown to frequently share common trunks. Disks in the T4/5 region of the spine had the most extensive segmental artery crossings, while disks in the right anterior and left middle regions of the thoracic spine had the fewest. There was an increase in the number of segmental arteries located within a single vertebra between the thoracic (T7) and lumbar (L5) levels. The segmental arteries ran in different patterns at different levels of the spine.
Due to their longitudinal character and the existence of several segmental arteries within a single vertebra, notably in T5-7, segmental arteries ran at every point of the vertebral body in the upper to middle thoracic. Thoracic spine surgery will benefit greatly from the findings of this study.