Arcuate foramen: “Anatomical variation shape or adaptation legacy?” View Full Text


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Article Info

DATE

2019-01-17

AUTHORS

Giulia Cossu, Louis-Marie Terrier, Christophe Destrieux, Stephane Velut, Patrick François, Ilyess Zemmoura, Aymeric Amelot

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: The groove of the vertebral artery on the posterior arch of the atlas (sulcus arteriae vertebralis) may become a complete or partial osseous foramen: the arcuate foramen. The presence of a complete or partial arcuate foramen is a rare anatomical variant described in a minority of patients and it seems to be associated with vertigo, vertebro-basilar insufficiency, posterior circulation strokes, and musculoskeletal pain. As the number and morphology of cervical vertebrae is highly preserved, we questioned about its significance from an evolutionary point of view. We thus investigated through an extensive literature review if the arcuate foramen is a pure anatomical variation shape or if it might represent an adaptation legacy. METHODS: We observed five atlas of an extinct species, the Late Pleistocene Mammoths (M. primigenius), and we compared them with five atlas of a closely related existent species, the African elephant (L. africana). RESULTS: All the mammoths' atlas had an arcuate foramen through which the vertebral artery passed before turning anteriorly and becoming intradural. This foramen was not present in elephants' atlas, where only a groove was observed, such as in the majority of patients. CONCLUSION: We would like to raise the hypothesis that this peculiar morphology of mammoths' atlas might have contributed, in association with other factors, to their precocious extinction and that the arcuate foramen might represent a disadvantage in the evolutionary process, with a low prevalence in humans being the result of a natural selection. More... »

PAGES

1-6

References to SciGraph publications

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  • Identifiers

    URI

    http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.1007/s00276-019-02186-y

    DOI

    http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00276-019-02186-y

    DIMENSIONS

    https://app.dimensions.ai/details/publication/pub.1111504520

    PUBMED

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30656416


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