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Anatomical analysis of the C2 pedicle in patients with basilar invagination



To evaluate and describe the morphologic features of the C2 pedicle in patients with basilar invagination (BI) for informing the placement of pedicle screws. C2 pedicle screw placement is an important surgical technique for the treatment of atlantoaxial instability in patients with BI. However, no systematic and comprehensive anatomical study of the C2 pedicle in patients with BI has been reported.


The data from 100 patients diagnosed with BI (BI group) and 100 patients without head or cervical disease (control group) were included in the study. Radiographic parameters, including the pedicle width, length, height, transverse angle, lamina angle, and superior angle, were measured and analyzed on CT images. After summary analysis, the effect of C2–3 congenital fusion on C2 pedicle deformity in patients with BI was also investigated.


The width, length, and height of the C2 pedicle of the BI patients were smaller than those of the control group. The pedicle cancellous bone was smaller in the BI group, while no significant difference in cortical bone was observed. In total, 44% of the pedicles were smaller than 4.5 mm in the BI group. Patients with C2–3 congenital fusion presented with smaller pedicle transverse angles and larger pedicle superior angles than those without fusion. Wide variations in the left and right angles of the pedicle were observed in the BI group with atlantoaxial dislocation or atlantooccipital fusion.


The C2 pedicle in the BI group was thinner than that in the control group due to a smaller cortical bone. Cases of C2–3 congenital fusion, atlantoaxial dislocation, and atlantooccipital fusion displayed variation in the angle of the C2 pedicle.

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Correspondence to Xiangyang Ma, Jianting Chen or Jincheng Yang.

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Xiao, R., Hou, J., Zhou, Y. et al. Anatomical analysis of the C2 pedicle in patients with basilar invagination. Eur Spine J (2022).

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  • Basilar invagination
  • Pedicle screws
  • Anatomy
  • Computed tomography
  • Malformation
  • C2 pedicle