Lumbar morphometry: a study of lumbar vertebrae from a pakistani population using computed tomography scans

Muhammad M. Alam
Muhammad Waqas, Aga Khan University
Hussain Shallwani, Aga Khan University
Gohar Javed, Aga Khan University


Study Design: A cross-sectional study.PURPOSE: To describe the characteristics of lumbar vertebrae of Pakistani patients reporting at a tertiary care hospital and compare with studies from other populations.OVERVIEW OF LITERATURE: Several studies have been conducted to determine morphometry of lumbar vertebrae. Most of the studies involve Caucasian populations, still data on other populations still sparse. This is the first study describing lumbar morphometry of a Pakistani population.Methods: An observational study was conducted based on a review of thin-cut (3 mm) computed topographic images of lumbar vertebrae. Two-hundred and twenty vertebrae from forty-nine patients were studied, and various dimensions were analyzed.Results: Generally, the size of the vertebrae, vertebral canals and recesses were found to be greater in male patients. The difference was statistically significant for transverse and anteroposterior diameters of the vertebral bodies and sagittal diameter of pedicles on the left side (p<0.05). Comparison of populations revealed statistically significant differences in pedicle dimensions between Pakistani population and others.CONCLUSIONS: This study provides anatomical knowledge of the lumbar region in a sample population of Pakistan. There were significant differences in various dimensions of lumbar vertebrae between female and male patients. This would prove to be critical for performing a safe operation.