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Indian Journal of Clinical Anatomy and Physiology

Incidence of Ponticles in Human Atlas Vertebrae - A Study from South Gujarat Population

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Author Details: Nitixa P. Patel, Deepa S.Gupta, Nisha D. Parmar

Volume : 2

Issue : 3

Online ISSN : 2394-2126

Print ISSN : 2394-2118

Article First Page : 135

Article End Page : 139


Background: Atlas, an atypical 1st cervical vertebra bears anterior and posterior arch. The superior surface of posterior arch presents groove for vertebral artery. Sometimes bony out growth extending from superior articular process to the posterior arch is known as ponticle which may cause external pressure on the vertebral artery when latter passes from foramen transversarium to foramen magnum of the skull.

Aim: The study was to find out an incidence of atlas ponticles (bridges) for its clinical and surgical significance.
Materials and Methods: In this study, 50 dried macerated atlas vertebrae of unknown age and sex were collected from department of anatomy of medical colleges of South Gujarat and examined for presence of ponticles.
Results: Out of 50 atlas vertebrae, total 11 (22%) bones presented with ponticles of which incidence of posterior ponticle was seen in 10 (20%) cases and lateral ponticle in 1 (2%) case. Total incidence of complete and incomplete variety was noted in 5 (10%) and 6 (12%) cases respectively. Incidence of bilateral ponticle was observed in 2 (4%) while unilateral in 9 (18%) vertebrae of which 5 (10%) right sided and 4 (8%) left sided.
Conclusion: The presence of ponticles may reduce the cross sectional area of vertebral artery, compromising its blood flow resulting in vertebro-basilar insufficiency which may lead to various types of neurological symptoms like dizziness, fainting, transient diplopia and vertigo.

Key Words: Atlas vertebra, Ponticle, Vertebral artery groove