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Impact of posterior atlantoaxial joint venous plexus ligation on spinal cord function: evaluation according to imaging, electrophysiology, and ethology

The aim of this study was to assess the impact of bilateral ligation and amputation of the posterior atlantoaxial joint venous plexus on spinal cord function. Healthy New Zealand white rabbits were selected and examined using somatosensory evoked potentials, motor evoked potentials, and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) MAR GE Sigma 1.5-T MR system (GE, Milwaukee, USA) (Slice thickness: 3 mm, T1-Weighted Image (T1WI): TR/TE=400/15 ms, T2-Weighted Image (T2WI): TR/TE=3500/102 ms). Electrophysiology (MedCom Technology Co., Ltd. Zhuhai, China) was performed at specific time points (2, 6, and 12 h) after the bilateral posterior atlantoaxial venous plexus was ligated and amputated. MRI was also performed at specific time points (immediately after surgery, and at 8 and 48 h after surgery). The mobility of the hind limbs was evaluated before surgery and at 1, 3, and 7 d after surgery. No hind limb motor dysfunction was found at different time points. Tarlov scores were all grade 5. The spinal cord area and relative T1WI and T2WI intensities showed no significant differences at specific time points before and after surgery. Electrophysiological signals, including amplitude and latency, showed no significant differences at specific time points before and after surgery. Ligation and amputation of the posterior atlantoaxial joint venous plexus does not affect spinal cord blood supply or cord function.

Author(s): Huawei Wei, Zonghua Qi, Xin Liang, Jing Fang, Lianchong Fu, Jiankun Yang, Deling Yang, Xu Zhang, Shilong Yuan, Feng Gao, Siyuan Li, Yongming Xi