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Journal of Craniovertebral Junction and Spine
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Year : 2023  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 84-92

Age- and gender-related radiological changes of the cervical spine: A study with largest magnetic resonance imaging database of 5672 consecutive patients

1 Department of Neurosurgery, Karadeniz Technical University, Trabzon, Turkey
2 Department of Radiology, Kecioren Training and Research Hospital, Ankara, Turkey
3 Department of Neurosurgery, Medical Faculty, Recep Tayyip Erdogan University, Rize, Turkey
4 Department of Pediatric Neurology, Medical Faculty, Karadeniz Technical University, Trabzon, Turkey

Correspondence Address:
Ayhan Kanat
Department of Neurosurgery, Medical Faculty, Recep Tayyip Erdogan University, 53100, Merkez Rize
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jcvjs.jcvjs_9_23

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Background: The morphological features of the cervical spine are an essential issue. This retrospective study aimed to investigate the structural and radiological changes in the cervical spine. Materials and Methods: A total of 250 patients with neck pain but no apparent cervical pathology were selected from a database of 5672 consecutive patients undergoing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). MRIs were directly examined for cervical disc degeneration. These include Pfirrmann grade (Pg/C), cervical lordosis angle (A/CL), Atlantodental distance (ADD), the thickness of transverse ligament (T/TL), and position of cerebellar tonsils (P/CT). The measurements were taken at the positions of T1- and T2-weighted sagittal and axial MRIs. To evaluate the results, patients were divided into seven age groups (10–19, 20–29, 30–39, 40–49, 50–59, 60–69, 70, and over). Results: In terms of ADD (mm), T/TL (mm), and P/CT (mm), there was no significant difference among age groups (P > 0.05). However, in terms of A/CL (degree) values, a statistically significant difference was observed among age groups (P < 0.05). Conclusions: Intervertebral disc degeneration was more severe in males than in females as age increased. For both genders, cervical lordosis, decreased significantly as age increased. T/TL, ADD, and P/CT did not significantly differ with age. The present study indicates that structural and radiological changes are possible reasons for cervical pain at advanced ages.

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