Three-dimensional magnetic resonance imaging of thoracic and lumbar paravertebral space in human cadavers
INTRODUCTION: Several investigators have attempted to spatially visualize the paravertebral space (PVS) in humans. Most 3D models of the PVS are illustrations based on standard anatomical textbooks. Two-dimensional models of the PVS have been reconstructed radiologically by injecting contrast medium into the paravertebral space in vivo (1,2). Other investigators have directly observed the distribution of solutions injected into the paravertebral space in human cadavers (3, 4). The main goal of our study is to construct a three-dimensional model of the PVS in humans using high resolution magnetic resonance imaging. To accomplish this we first define MR parameters necessary to visualize PVS in human cadaver tissue. Subsequently, we three-dimensionally reconstruct the PVS. MATERIAL AND METHODS: The spines from two human cadavers were approached internally from the thoracic cavity and extracted. Representative thoracic and lumbar segments were chosen for imaging. Each specimen was cut to fit within a 8-cm acrylic cylinder. All MR imaging were performed on a 2T MR instrument controlled by a Signa console. Both the superior and inferior costo-transverse ligaments are recognizable on adjacent MR images (not shown). DISCUSSION: Our preliminary data has shown that: 1) T2-weighted high resolution MR imaging can be used to visualize the paravertebral space in human tissue and 2) 3D reconstruction of MR data enables visualization of the extent of the paravertebral space. Future direction of this project is aimed at in vivo visualization of PVS using high resolution MR and CT in combination.
MacLeod, D; Martin, G; D'Ercole, F; Richardson, W; Benveniste, H
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