Interarcuate branch (IAB) is a vascular structure, particularly developed in C2-3 intervertebral space, forming a dorsal bridge that connects ventral venous plexi in the vertebral canal. While precisely described in the human, the precise anatomical features of IABs have not been reported in the veterinary literature. The purpose of this study is to describe the features and relations of IABs in the C2-3 vertebral canal.
10 dogs were enrolled; 5 dogs for necropsy and 5 dogs for histology.
The ventral venous plexi in the cervical spine of 5 dogs were injected with latex and underwent vertebral canal dissection for visual assessment of the IAB. Two out of 5 dogs were injected with the addition of barium sulfate and underwent a CT scan. The C2-3 regions of 5 small-breed dogs were harvested for histological examinations.
IABs arose from the ventral venous plexus at the level of the intervertebral vein; they originated from 2 separate branches located caudally and cranially to the intervertebral foramen, forming a ventrodorsal triangle surrounding the spinal nerve root. No dorsal anastomosis was observed on the CT scan nor at dissection but were observed histologically. A cervical fibrous sheath was observed all around the vertebral canal.
IABs are voluminous venous structures at the C2-3 intervertebral space in dogs and found within a split of the cervical fibrous sheath, which is adherent to the interarcuate ligament and the ligamentum flavum. This anatomical description is paramount when planning an approach to the C2-3 intervertebral space.