Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Association of transverse ligament calcification with anterior atlanto-odontoid osteoarthritis: CT findings

  • 87 Accesses

  • 16 Citations


The craniocervical junction was assessed in 700 consecutive unselected patients undergoing CT of the brain or paranasal sinuses, to investigate whether transverse ligament calcification was associated with advanced degenerative changes at the anterior atlanto-odontoid (AO) joint. Calcific deposits within the transverse ligament were seen in 40 patients (5.7%). The prevalence of this condition increased with age. Advanced degenerative changes (marked osteophytes and obliteration of the joint space) at the anterior AO joint were significantly more frequent in patients with transverse ligament calcification than in age-matched controls. We conclude that transverse ligament calcification is seen frequently in the elderly and very frequently with advanced degenerative changes at the anterior AO joint.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. 1.

    Dirheimer Y, Wackenheim C, Dietemann JL (1985) Calcification of the transverse ligament in calcium dihydrate deposition disease (CPPD). Neuroradiology 27:87

  2. 2.

    Resnick D, Pineda C (1984) Vertebral involvement in calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate crystal deposition disease. Radiology 153:55–60

  3. 3.

    Wilkins E, Dieppe P, Maddison P, Evison G (1983) Osteoarthritis and articular chondrocalcinosis in the elderly. Ann Rheum Dis 42:280–284

  4. 4.

    Ellman MH, Brown NL, Levin B (1981) Narrowing of knee joint space in patients with pseudogout. Ann Rheum Dis 40:34–36

  5. 5.

    Resnick D, Niwayama G, Goergen TG, Utsinger PD, Shapiro RF, Haselwood DH, Wiesner KB (1977) Clinical, radiographic and pathologic abnormalities in calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate deposition disease (CPPD): pseudogout. Radiology 122:1–15

  6. 6.

    Dirheimer Y, Bensimon C, Christmann D, Wackenheim C (1983) Syndesmoodontoid joint and calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate deposition disease (CPPD). Neuroradiology 25:319–321

  7. 7.

    Bouvet JP, Parc JM le, Michalski B, Benlahrache C, Auquier L (1985) Acute neck pain due to calcifications surrounding the odontoid process: the crowned dens syndrome. Arthritis Rheum 28:1417–1420

  8. 8.

    Zitnan D, Sitaj S (1976) Natural course of articular chondrocalcinosis. Arthritis Rheum 19:369–390

  9. 9.

    El-Khoury GY, Tozzi JE, Clark CR, Foucar E, Menezes AH, Smoker WRK (1985) Massive calcium pyrophosphate crystal deposition at the craniovertebral junction. AJR 145:777–778

  10. 10.

    Weber M, Gerber H (1991) Akutes Zervikalsyndrom bei Chondrocalcinose. Schweiz Med Wochenschr 121:642–645

  11. 11.

    Fisher E, Schmidt H (1969) Die degenerativen Veränderungen des vorderen Atlantodentalen Gelenks. Fortschr Röntgenstr 111:552–558

  12. 12.

    Fournier AM, Rathelot J (1959) L'arthrose atlanto-odontoidienne: sa fréquence comme d'algies nucales. J Radiol Electrol 40:812–813

  13. 13.

    Skaane P, Klott KJ (1981) Die peridentale Aureole bei der vorderen Atlantodentalarthrose. Fortschr Röntgenstr 134:62–68

  14. 14.

    Genez BM (1991) Atlantoodontoid osteoarthritis. Crit Rev Diagn Imaging 32: 301–321

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to J. Zapletal.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Zapletal, J., Hekster, R.E.M., Straver, J.S. et al. Association of transverse ligament calcification with anterior atlanto-odontoid osteoarthritis: CT findings. Neuroradiology 37, 667–669 (1995). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00593391

Download citation

Key words

  • Craniocervical region
  • Chondrocalcinosis
  • Joints, diseases
  • Pyrophosphate
  • Spine