The arterial basket of the conus medullaris is one of several anastomoses between the anterior and posterior spinal arteries. The anatomy of this structure has attracted little attention. This work sought to investigate its configuration in human spinal cords. Spinal cords from male and female cadavers (n = 32) were injected with colored latex through the intercostal, lumbar, medial sacral and the posterior trunks of the hypogastric arteries. After injection, specimens preserving the dural sac were obtained and fixed in formaldehyde solution. Finally, the spinal arteries were microdissected. In 18.75% of the specimens, the anterior spinal artery divided symmetrically and formed anastomoses with the posterior spinal arteries. In 81.25%, the branching pattern observed was asymmetrical. In 21.87% there were differences in the diameter of the anastomotic arteries, and 40.63% originated at different levels along the craniocaudal axis. Interestingly, 12.5% of the specimens presented an intraparenchymatous anastomosis that has not been described previously. True unilateral anastomosis was only observed in 6.25% of the spinal cords. The most frequent configuration of the anastomotic basket of the conus medullaris is a bilateral asymmetric anastomosis. The asymmetry of the branches could be caused by differences in their diameters or in their origins along the craniocaudal axis. Symmetrical patterns are less frequent, and unilateral anastomoses are rare. In reality, some cases of apparently unilateral anastomosis present an intramedullary course of the anastomotic artery. Clin. Anat. 31:441–448, 2018. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Clinical Anatomy – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
Keywords: ; ; ; ;
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