3D reconstruction of the crural and thoracolumbar fasciae
- 826 Downloads
To create computerized three-dimensional models of the crural fascia and of the superficial layer of the thoracolumbar fascia.
Serial sections of these two fasciae, stained with Azan-Mallory, van Gieson and anti-S100 antibody stains, were recorded. The resulting images were merged (Image Zone 5.0 software) and aligned (MatLab Image Processing Toolkit). Color thresholding was applied to identify the structures of interest. 3D models were obtained with Tcl/Tk scripts and Paraview 3.2.1 software. From these models, the morphometric features of these fasciae were evaluated with ImageJ.
In the crural fascia, collagen fibers represent less than 20% of the total volume, arranged in three distinct sub-layers (mean thickness, 115 μm), separated by a layer of loose connective tissue (mean thickness, 43 μm). Inside a single sub-layer, all the fibers are parallel, whereas the angle between the fibers of adjacent layers is about 78°. Elastic fibers are less than 1%. Nervous fibers are mostly concentrated in the middle layer. The superficial layer of the thoracolumbar fascia is also formed of three thinner sub-layers, but only the superficial one is similar to the crural fascia sub-layers, the intermediate one is similar to a flat tendon, and the deep one is formed of loose connective tissue. Only the superficial sub-layer has rich innervation and a few elastic fibers.
Computerized three-dimensional models provide a detailed representation of the fascial structure, for better understanding of the interactions among the different components. This is a fundamental step in understanding the mechanical behavior of the fasciae and their role in pathology.
KeywordsCrural fascia Thoracolumbar fascia Connective tissue 3D models Collagen
The authors are grateful to Prof. Natali and his collaborators for their skillful assistance.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
- 1.Abramoff MD, Magelhaes PJ, Ram SJ (2004) Image processing with ImageJ. Biophotonics Int 11:36–42Google Scholar
- 2.Avants B, Sundaram T, Duda JT, Jee JC, Ng L (2004) Non-rigid image registration. In: Yoo TS (ed) Insight into images. AK Peters Ltd., WellesleyGoogle Scholar
- 8.Fawcett DW (1994) Bloom and Fawcett: a textbook of histology, 12th edn. Chapman & Hall, LondonGoogle Scholar
- 9.Frey PJ (2000) About surface remeshing. In: 9th International Mesh Round Table, Sandia National Laboratories, pp 123–136Google Scholar
- 10.Geneser F (1986) Textbook of histology. Munksgaard Lea & Febiger, CopenhagenGoogle Scholar
- 20.Martini FH, Timmons MJ, Tallitsch RB (2004) Anatomia umana, 2nd edn. EdiSES, NaplesGoogle Scholar
- 23.Natali AN, Pavan PG, Stecco C (2010) A constitutive model for the mechanical characterization of the plantar fascia. Connect Tissue Res 22 (Epub ahead of print)Google Scholar
- 25.Russ JC (1995) The image processing handbook. CRC Press, Boca Raton, p 272Google Scholar
- 26.Russ JC, Dehoff RT (2000) Practical stereology, 2nd edn. Plenum Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- 27.Standring S, Ellis H, Healy J, Johnson D, Williams A (2005) Gray’s anatomy, 39th edn. Churchill Livingstone, LondonGoogle Scholar
- 33.Stecco C, Macchi V, Porzionato A, Morra A, Parenti A, Stecco A, Delmas V, De Caro R (2010) The ankle retinacula: morphological evidence of the proprioceptive role of the fascial system. Cells Tissues Organs 27 (Epub ahead of print)Google Scholar
- 34.Stilwell D (1957) Regional variations in the innervation of deep fasciae and aponeuroses. Anat Rec 23:94–104Google Scholar
- 37.Young B (2006) Wheater’s functional histology: a text and colour atlas, 5th edn. Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier, PhiladelphiaGoogle Scholar