• Eur Spine J · Dec 2021


    Prevalence of Vertebral artery anomaly in upper cervical and its surgical implications: a systematic review.

    • Xi Lin, Hou-Jun Zhu, Yang Xu, Ting Zheng, Fei-Yue Lin, and Xiao-Ming Yin.
    • Shengli Clinical Medical College of Fujian Medical University, Fu Zhou, China.
    • Eur Spine J. 2021 Dec 1; 30 (12): 3607-3613.

    BackgroundThe presence vertebral artery (VA) abnormalities in the upper cervical may be a potential cause of catastrophic complication in the posterior approach of the upper cervical spine surgery. The aim of this study was to demonstrate the real incidence of the V3 segment anomaly in patients who need upper cervical surgery, and tried to find out the risk factors of V3 segment anomaly to evaluate the necessary of computed tomographic angiography (CTA) for upper cervical surgery.MethodThis systematic review was conducted following the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-Analyses (PRISMA). Retrospective studies and reports of case series involving human subjects with data on anomalies of vertebral artery in upper cervical spine were included. Data on the prevalence of persistent first intersegmental artery (PIA), fenestration of the VA (FA), posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA) were extracted.ResultsA total of 16 articles involving 5927 subjects met the inclusion criteria. The total incidence of V3 segment anomaly in the patients with bony abnormalities was 25.9% (74/286): PIA was 17.5%, FA was 6.6% and PICA was 1.8%. The total incidence of V3 segment anomaly in the patients without bony abnormalities was 2.7% (152/5671): PIA was 1.76%, FA was 0.4% and PICA was 0.5%. The total incidence of V3 segment anomaly in Asian population without bony abnormalities was 5.8%, while in European and American population was 0.8 and 0.6%, respectively.ConclusionPatients with bone abnormalities are high risk factor for VA abnormalities, CTA is of paramount importance to evaluate the variant VA anatomy. However, regarding to the low incidence of V3 variation in normal population, we do not recommend preoperative CT angiography as mandatory part of preoperative.© 2021. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.

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