Variation of bilateral transverse ligament tubercles with age and gender in a large series of subjects on multidetector computed tomography

Yongguang Ban, Qinhua Luan, Kai Liu, Ximing Wang, Bo Sun, Bin Zhao, Avneesh Chhabra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: The transverse ligament tubercles play an important role in maintaining the stability of upper cervical spine, but the variation of these tubercles with aging has not been studied systematically. Purpose: To evaluate the variation of the height of the transverse ligament tubercles with respect to age and gender, and assess side-to-side differences on multidetector computed tomography (MDCT). Material and Methods: A consecutive series of 291 Chinese patients undergoing a head or neck MDCTwere divided into eight age groups. The bony anatomy of the atlas was displayed symmetrically by aligning the axial plane and the mean height of bilateral transverse ligament tubercles was measured. The height was correlated with age and gender and sideto-side differences were analyzed. Finally, the inter-observer performance was assessed. Results: No transverse ligament tubercles were seen in 51 cases (17.5%, 51/291) and unilateral transverse ligament tubercles were seen in two cases (0.7%, 2/291). Bilateral transverse ligament tubercles were observed in 238 cases (81.8%, 238/291). The average height of the left and right tubercles were 2.68=1.58mm and 2.68=1.54 mm, respectively, with no significant side-to-side differences (t0.061, P>0.05). The height was also similar in both genders (left: t0.497, P>0.05, right: t0.730, P>0.05). The height increased linearly with age (left: r0.513, P

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)721-725
Number of pages5
JournalActa Radiologica
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2016



  • Atlas
  • Height
  • Multidetector computed tomography (MDCT)
  • Spine
  • Transverse ligament tubercle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology

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