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The spinal cord II

Comparison of structural details of different regions of the spinal cord




Central canal
  • Superiorly (Open) : Opens into the cavity of the 4th ventricle
  • Inferiorly (Closed) : In the conus medullaris, it expands to form the terminal ventricle & terminates below within the root of filum terminale
  • It’s filled with CSF
  • It’s lined by ciliated columnar epithelium (Ependyma)

Blood supply of the spinal cord
 Arterial supply : Supplied by 3 small arteries + feeder arteries


Segmental spinal arteries


  • ASA & PSA arteries are reinforced by segmental arteries, which enter the vertebral canal through the inter vertebral foramina
  • These arteries are branches of arteries outside the vertebral column (Deep cervical, Intercostal & Lumbar arteries)
  • Segmental arteries give rise to anterior & posterior radicular arteries

Feeder arteries

  • Enter the vertebral arteries & anastomose with the ASA & PSA
  • The most important feeder artery is the Great anterior medullar artery of Adamkiewicz

    1. It arises from the aorta at lower thoracic or upper lumbar vertebral levels
    2. Unilateral
    3. In the left side of most people
    4. Major source of blood to the lower 2/3 of the spinal cord

Veins of the spinal cord
  • Drains mainly into the veins of the brain & the venous sinuses via 6 tortuous longitudinal channels
  • Finally drain into the internal vertebral venous plexus

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The spinal cord II The spinal cord II Reviewed by Ucfm on September 01, 2010 Rating: 5
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