Morphological expression of the anterior spinal artery and the intracranial segment of the vertebral artery: a direct anatomic study

Vol. 54 No. 3 Suppl., 2013
This supplement was not sponsored by Outside Organizations.


L. Ballesteros, P. Forero, I. Quintero

Given its importance for clinical diagnosis and management, the purpose of this study was to determine the morphological expression of the intracranial segment of both vertebral and spinal arteries. Ninety-five fresh cadaveric specimens autopsied at the Instituto de Medicina Legal of Bucaramanga (Colombia) were perfused with polyester resins at the vertebrobasilar vascular bed, by canalizing the proximal segment of the internal carotids and vertebral arteries. The intracranial segment of the vertebral arteries (VA) had a length of 33.2+/-5.2 mm and a caliber of 3.03+/-0.81 mm. The left vertebral artery had a caliber of 3.12+/-0.85 mm, this being greater than the caliber of the right artery in 59.6% of the cases. The VA junction was seen at the level of the ponto-medullary sulcus in 44.2%, above this level in 30.5%, and below it in 25.3%. The distance from the origin of the anterior spinal branches (ASBs) to the VA junction was 7.34+/-2.71 mm, with a greater distance corresponding to the right ASBs, a difference that did not reach statistical significance (p=0.32). The anterior spinal arteries (ASA) had a bilateral origin in 65.3% of the cases, with the caliber being balanced in 37 (39%) and dominant at the right side in 15.8%. A right unilateral origin of the ASA was observed in 13.7% and a left unilateral origin in 9.5% of the specimens. There is disagreement in the literature as to the level of the junction of the two vertebral arteries. The unilateral origin of the spinal arteries is more frequent than most prior studies have indicated.

Corresponding author: Luis Ballesteros, Professor, MD, MSc; e-mail:

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Ruxandra Stanculescu, M. Ceausu, Zenaida Ceausu, Vasilica Bausic

Objective: The aim of this research was to assess the immunofluorescence expression (IFE) of cell cycle regulators p16ink4a, p21, p27, in association with proliferation and prognosis factors Ki-67, p53 respectively, in cell cultures, obtained from different types of cervical intra-epithelial lesions. The final purpose was to distinguish a best marker able to identify with high accuracy the high-grade squamous intra-epithelial lesion. Materials and Methods: The study was carried out on 68 epithelial cell cultures. Three senior specialists have analyzed 500 cells/case individually. The statistic analysis for correlation between used markers has been performed. Results: The study batch revealed a very low expression of investigated parameters (<1%) in negative cases for malignancy and intraepithelial lesion (NMIL), a progressive exponential expression in low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (LSIL), and a very high expression in high-grade squamous intra-epithelial lesion (HSIL) and invasive squamous cervical carcinoma (ISCC). Ki-67 and p53 were overexpressed in nuclei both in LSIL and HSIL. A slightly direct correlation between p21 and Ki-67 (r=0.35, p<0.001) was observed in HSIL. Statistically significant correlations were noticed between some markers: p16ink4a and p27 (r=0.4, p=0.03), p16ink4a and Ki-67 (r=-0.4, p=0.002). Conclusions: The most reliable parameters for assessing HSIL and ISCC proved to be Ki-67 and p16ink4a. Both were with percentages and intensity of IFE around 100% and higher immunoexpression within the nucleus of cell cultures. Our study reveals that p27 cyclin inhibitor was not reliable in differentiating between LSIL and HSIL.

Corresponding author: Vasilica Bausic, Lecturer, MD, PhD; e-mail:

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