The morphological relationship between lumbosacral transitional vertebrae and lumbosacral pedicle asymmetry


Teruaki Ono1), Kiyoshi Tarukado1), Osamu Tono1), Katsumi Harimaya2), Yuichiro Morishita3), Yasuharu Nakashima2), Toshio Doi1)

1) Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Kyushu University Beppu Hospital, Oita, Japan
2) Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan
3) Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Spinal Injuries Center, Iizuka, Fukuoka, Japan


Introduction: The clinical significance of lumbosacral transitional vertebrae (LSTV) has been reported. However, the association between LSTV and lumbosacral pedicle anatomical anomaly has not been investigated. We hypothesized that LSTV might be associated with lumbosacral anatomical anomaly. The purpose of this study was to examine the morphological association between LSTV and lumbosacral pedicle asymmetry (PA) using computed tomography (CT).
Methods: A retrospective review of CT images of 347 lumbosacral degenerative disease patients was performed. We divided the subjects into two groups: the normal and LSTV groups. LSTV was classified based on Castellvi's classification. PA was defined as a difference of more than 20° between the right and left angles of the pedicle.
Results: Seventy out of 347 lumbosacral degenerative disease patients (20.17%) were diagnosed with LSTV. In the normal group, only a 0.54% incidence of PA was seen; however, with respect to the LSTV group, a 9.29% incidence of PA was seen. A significant difference in PA incidence was observed between the groups (p < 0.001). Type IIIa and Type IV in the LSTV group showed a statistically significant PA incidence rate (p = 0.004 and p = 0.039, respectively).
Conclusions: Our study demonstrated that there was a significant difference in the incidence of PA between LSTV subjects and normal subjects. Moreover, the incidence of PA was significantly higher in LSTV subjects with severe anomaly. These results suggested that lumbosacral spine anomaly might have a close relationship with the incidence of PA and lumbosacral nerve root asymmetry. Therefore, morphological evaluation of the pedicle is important for preoperative surgical management, especially in cases using pedicle screws. This information could lower the incidence of pedicle screw malposition when pedicle screws are inserted at the lumbosacral spine.

Released: January 27, 2018; doi: