Articles

Articles are a collaborative effort to provide a single canonical page on all topics relevant to the practice of radiology. As such, articles are written and edited by countless contributing members over a period of time. A global group of dedicated editors oversee accuracy, consulting with expert advisers, and constantly reviewing additions.

2,440 results found
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Congenital coronary artery anomalies

Congenital coronary artery anomalies (CCAAs) are not common, found only in ~1% (range 0.1-2%) of patients 1,3.The most important finding to look for is the "malignant" course of anomalous coronary artery, i.e. does the artery run between big pulsating objects - right ventricular outflow tract / ...
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Uncinate process of the cervical spine

The uncinate process of the cervical spine is a hook-shaped process found bilaterally on the superolateral margin of the cervical vertebral bodies of C3-C7. The uncinate processes are more anteriorly positioned in the upper cervical spine and more posteriorly location in the lower cervical spin...
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Accessory sutures

The parietal and occipital bones in particular are common regions for accessory sutures because of their multiple ossification centres. It is important to know these anatomic variations, mainly on the head trauma image studies in children, where it could be difficult to differentiate non-depres...
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Uncovertebral joint

Uncovertebral joints, also called Luschka’s joints, are seen bilaterally between adjacent cervical vertebrae, identified by the cat ear shaped uncinate processes of the C3-7 vertebrae (C1 and C2 have no uncinate processes). Gross anatomy Articulations The articulation forms between the uncina...
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Mendosal suture

The mendosal suture (also known as the accessory occipital suture) is a normal calvarial suture. Gross anatomy The suture extends through the occipital bone, lying superior to the occipitomastoid suture and inferomedial to the lambdoid suture. It closes in utero or in the first few days of lif...
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Thoracoepigastric vein

The thoracoepigastric vein provides a communication between the superficial epigastric vein and the lateral thoracic vein as it ascends superficially on anterolateral chest and abdominal wall. It, therefore, drains into both the superior vena cava via the axillary vein and the inferior vena cava...
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Postcentral sulcus

The postcentral sulcus is a sulcus of the parietal lobe that separates the postcentral gyrus from the remainder of the parietal lobe, thus dividing the primary somatosensory cortex from the secondary somatosensory cortex. It runs parallel and posterior to the central sulcus.
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Precentral sulcus

The precentral sulcus is one of the major sulci of the frontal lobe, running in front of and parallel to the central sulcus, separated from it by the precentral gyrus. Inferiorly it reaches the Sylvian fissure, with the pars opercularis of the inferior frontal gyrus anterior to it and the inferi...
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Collateral sulcus

The collateral sulcus, also known as the medial occipitotemporal sulcus, runs anteroposteriorly on the inferior surface of the temporal lobe and occipital lobe. Anteriorly it is sometimes continuous with the rhinal sulcus 1-3.  Anteriorly, it separates the fusiform gyrus laterally, from the par...
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Paracentral sulcus

The paracentral sulcus is an ascending branch of the cingulate sulcus in the frontal lobe. It forms the anterior border of the paracentral lobule, separating it from the medial frontal gyrus and supplementary motor area that lie anteriorly.
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Cingulate sulcus

The cingulate sulcus is situated directly superior to the cingulate gyrus, which is formed by the medial surface of the frontal lobes that is directly above the corpus callosum.
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Central sulcus

The central sulcus (of Rolando) is a very important landmark in both anatomical and functional neuroanatomy. Gross anatomy The central sulcus separates the frontal lobe from the parietal lobe, and more specifically separates the primary motor cortex anteriorly from the primary somatosensory co...
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Callosal sulcus

The callosal sulcus is a sulcus of the brain, located on the medial side of each cerebral hemisphere, deep within the medial longitudinal fissure.  Gross anatomy The callosal sulcus runs posteriorly from the genu to the splenium of the corpus callosum. It separates the cingulate gyrus dorsally...
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Subparietal sulcus

The subparietal sulcus is a sulcus on the medial surface of the parietal lobe that separates the precuneus from the posterior aspect of the cingulate gyrus. It is considered a posterior continuation of the cingulate sulcus even if these sulci are most commonly discontinuous.
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Parieto-occipital fissure

The parieto-occipital fissure or sulcus, is an oblique sulcus which demarcates the occipital lobe from the parietal lobe on the medial surface of the cerebral hemisphere 1. The parieto-occipital sulcus joins the calcarine sulcus to form a pattern similar to the letter Y which has been placed sid...
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Calcarine fissure

The calcarine fissure, or calcarine sulcus, is located on the medial surface of the occipital lobe and divides the visual cortex (a.k.a. calcarine cortex) into two.  The fissure is variable in course (figure 1), but is generally oriented horizontally, anteriorly joining the parieto-occipital fi...
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Sesamoid

Sesamoids (or sesamoid bones) are focal areas of ossification within tendons as they pass over joints 1. They can also occur in ligaments and usually measure a few millimeters in diameter. Their function is purported to be to alter the direction of the tendon and modify pressure, thereby reducin...
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Sacrum

The sacrum is the penultimate segment of the vertebral column and also forms the posterior part of the bony pelvis. It transmits the total body weight between the lower appendicular skeleton and the axial skeleton. Gross anatomy The sacrum is an irregularly-shaped bone, roughly an inverted tri...
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Erector spinae group

The erector spinae group is the intermediate layer of the intrinsic muscles of the back. This group is made of three subgroups, with the group divisions occurring by location. The iliocostalis group occurs most laterally, followed by the longissimus group, and finally the spinalis as the most me...
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Atypical thoracic vertebrae

T1 and T9 - T12 are considered atypical thoracic vertebrae. T1 bears some resemblance to low cervical vertebrae. T9 has no inferior demifacet. T10 often, but not always, shares features with T11 and T12.  For a basic anatomic description of the structure a generic vertebra, see vertebrae.
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Typical thoracic vertebrae

Given the twelve thoracic vertebrae are largely similar, most are considered typical thoracic vertebrae with the exceptions T1 and T9 to T12. For a basic anatomic description of the structure of typical vertebrae, see vertebrae. Gross anatomy Relative to cervical and lumbar vertebrae, thoracic...
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Atlas (C1)

The atlas is the first cervical vertebra, commonly called C1. It is an atypical cervical vertebra with unique features. It articulates with the dens of the axis and the occiput, respectively allowing rotation of the head, and flexion, extension and lateral flexion of the head.  Unlike the rest o...
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Vertebra

The vertebra (plural: vertebrae) is the fundamental segmental unit of the vertebral column (also know as the spine). Gross anatomy Vertebrae, apart from those that are atypical, have a similar basic structure which can be described as an anterior vertebral body and a posterior neural (or verte...
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Cervical spine

The cervical spine is the upper part of the spine extending from the skull base to the thorax at the level of the first vertebra with a rib attached to it. It normally consists of seven vertebrae. Its main function is to support the skull and maintain the relative positions of the brain and spin...
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Lumbar spine

The lumbar spine consists of five adjacent vertebrae of the lower vertebral column. They participate in the lumbar lordosis, a natural curve in the spine, that is convex anteriorly.  Articulations of the facet (zygapophyseal) joints permit flexion/extension and abduction movements. Rotation is ...
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Dura mater

The dura mater, also known as the pachymeninx, is the tough outer layer of the meninges that surrounds the central nervous system and is pierced by the cranial nerves, the internal carotid arteries and the vertebral arteries.  Intracranially it is formed by two layers: outer endosteal layer, c...
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Spinal anatomy

Spinal anatomy encompasses the anatomy of all osseous and soft tissue structures of the spine, the spinal cord and its supporting structures. This anatomy section promotes the use of the Terminologia Anatomica, the global standard for correct gross anatomical nomenclature.  Overview The spine...
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Vertebral artery

The vertebral arteries (VA) are paired arteries, each arising from the respective subclavian artery and ascending in the neck to supply the posterior fossa and occipital lobes, as well as provide segmental vertebral and spinal column blood supply. Summary origin: branches off the 1st part of t...
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Dorsal root ganglion

The dorsal root ganglia are an enlargement of the dorsal root of spinal nerves representing the cell bodies of the primary somatosensory neurons. Gross anatomy Each dorsal root ganglion is oval and proportional in size to its related root. They are usually found just distal to the intervertebr...
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Thoracic spine

The thoracic spine forms the middle part of the vertebral column. It extends from below C7 on the cervical spine to above L1 on the lumbar spine. There are 12 thoracic vertebra, termed T1-T12 (some older doctors and texts refer to the dorsal spine and D1-D12).  The thoracic spine is unique due ...
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Ligamentum flavum

The ligamentum flava are paired ligaments which runs between adjacent laminae of the vertebral bodies and are present from C2/3 to the sacrum. Above the C2/3 level the equivalent structures are known as the posterior atlanto-occipital membrane between the base of skull and C1 and posterior atlan...
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Lumbar cistern

The lumbar cistern refers to the subarachnoid space in the lower lumbar spinal canal. The cistern is an enlargement of the subarachnoid space in the dural sac, distal to the conus medullar is. It contains cerebrospinal fluid and the nerve roots of the cauda equina. As the conus (usually) termin...
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Anterior spinal artery

The anterior spinal artery supplies the anterior portion of the spinal cord and arises from the vertebral artery in the region of the medulla oblongata. The two vertebral arteries (one of which is usually bigger than the other) anastamose in the midline to form a single anterior spinal artery at...
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Spinal epidural space

The spinal epidural (extradural) space is distinctly separate from and not continuous with the cranial epidural space. Its exact definition and description are contentious 3.  Gross anatomy The spinal epidural space is located in the spinal canal between the spinal dura mater and the vertebral...
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Spinal dura mater

The spinal dura mater is the outermost layer of the meninges that surround the spinal cord. Gross Anatomy The spinal dura mater is a fibrous, non-adherent, tough layer surrounding the spinal cord.  It is separated from the wall of the vertebral canal by the epidural space. This space contains ...
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Intervertebral foramen

The intervertebral foramina allow passage of structures out of and into the vertebral canal. When multiple vertebrae are joined, the foramina for the spinal canal. Boundaries anterior- lower posterolateral aspect of a vertebral body and the intervertebral disc below in the cervical region a p...
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Spinal canal

The spinal canal, also known as the vertebral canal, is the cavity within the vertebral column which contains the spinal cord. Gross anatomy The spinal canal becomes progressively narrower from its superior opening at the foramen magnum to its inferior opening at the sacral hiatus 1. The canal...
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Spinal cord

The spinal cord is the part of the central nervous system that is found within the spinal canal of the vertebral column.  Gross anatomy It measures approximately 42-45 cm in length, ~1 cm in diameter and 35 g in weight.  It is divided into cervical, thoracic and lumbar parts and terminates at...
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Superior meatus

The superior meatus is an air passage of the lateral nasal cavity located between the superior nasal concha and lateral nasal wall. The posterior ethmoid air cells and sphenoid sinuses drain into the superior meatus.​ See also nasal meatus
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Nasal meatus

The nasal meatuses are distinct air passages of the lateral nasal cavity located inferior to each nasal conchae. Terminology The plural of meatus is meatus (Latin noun of the fourth declension) or meatuses. Meati is incorrect.  Gross anatomy There are three main nasal meatuses: superior mea...
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Trochlear nerve

The trochlear nerve is the fourth cranial nerve and is the motor nerve of the superior oblique muscle of the eye.  It can be divided into four parts: nucleus and an intraparenchymal portion cisternal portion cavernous sinus portion orbital portion Gross anatomy Nucleus and intraparenchy...
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Oculomotor nerve

The oculomotor nerve is the third of the cranial nerves and arises from the midbrain. It is responsible for the movements of four of the six extra-ocular muscles, the other two being innervated by the trochlear and abducens nerves. Gross anatomy Nucleus and cisternal portion The oculomotor nu...
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Abducens nerve

The abducens nerve is the sixth cranial nerve. It courses from its nucleus located in the dorsal pons to its innervation of the lateral rectus muscle and can be divided into four parts: nucleus and intraparenchymal portion cisternal portion cavernous sinus portion orbital portion Gross anat...
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Glenohumeral ligaments

There are three glenohumeral ligaments (GHL), which are thickenings of the glenohumeral joint capsule and are important passive stabilisers of the joint.  Gross anatomy Superior glenohumeral ligament runs from the superior aspect of the glenoid and coracoid process to the fovea capitis just s...
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Lateral occipital sulcus

The lateral occipital sulcus is a sulcus of the lateral surface of the occipital lobe that runs horizontally and separates the superior from the inferior occipital gyri.
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Primary auditory cortex

The primary auditory cortex (Brodmann area 41, 42) is the part of the temporal lobe that is responsible for the conscious perception of sound. It is located in the superior temporal gyrus and receives inputs from the medial geniculate nucleus.​
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Medial geniculate body

The medial geniculate body, also known as the medial geniculate nucleus, is one of the thalamic nuclei. It acts as the principal relay nucleus for the auditory system between the inferior colliculus and auditory cortex. Together with the lateral geniculate body, it forms the metathalamus.
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Lateral geniculate body

The lateral geniculate body, also known as the lateral geniculate nucleus, is one of the thalamic nuclei. It acts as the principal relay nucleus for the visual system and, as such, it is conveniently located at the termination of the optic tract. Together with the medial geniculate body, it for...
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Metathalamus

The metathalamus is a region of the thalamencephalon formed by the medial and lateral geniculate bodies bilaterally. It serves as an important relay nucleus in both the auditory and visual pathways.
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Centrum semiovale

The centrum semiovale is a mass of white matter, superior to the lateral ventricles and corpus callosum, present in each of the cerebral hemispheres, subjacent to the cerebral cortex. It has a semi-oval shape and contains projection, commissural, and association fibres. Inferolaterally these fi...
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Superior occipital sulcus

The superior occipital sulcus is a sulcus of the occipital lobe that separates the superior from the middle occipital gyri. It is usually seen as a posterior continuation of the intraparietal sulcus.
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Septal nuclei

The septal nuclei are an area of the brain adjacent to the septum pellucidum, anterior to the lamina terminalis and below the rostrum of the corpus callosum. It consists of a subset of four nuclei involved in emotional functioning: dorsal, ventral medial and caudal.​
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Heschl's gyrus

Heschl's gyrus, also known as transverse temporal gyrus, is part of the temporal lobe and contains the primary auditory cortex (Brodmann area 41). It is entirely hidden within the Sylvian fissure, with the planum temporale and superior temporal gyrus located lateral to it. 
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Corpora quadrigemina

The corpora quadrigemina (Latin for "quadruplet bodies") are the four colliculi, two inferior and two superior, that sit on the quadrigeminal plate on the posterior surface of the midbrain. The corpora quadrigemina are reflex centres involving vision and hearing: superior colliculi: involved i...
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Intraparietal sulcus

The intraparietal sulcus together with the postcentral sulcus, is one of the two main sulci of the parietal lobe. It runs from the post-central sulcus towards the occipital pole, dividing the lateral parietal lobe into the superior and inferior parietal lobules. The floor of the intraparietal su...
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Hippocampal commissure

The hippocampal commissure, also called the commissure of the fornix, is a transversely-oriented white matter tract connecting the two hippocampi via the fornices 1. The specific function of the hippocampal commissure is currently unknown, although damage to the fornices has been shown to lead t...
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Thalamencephalon

The thalamencephalon is an anatomic region that includes the thalamus, metathalamus and epithalamus. It is one of the components that form the diencephalon.
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Superior salivary nucleus

The superior salivary nucleus of the facial nerve is a visceromotor parasympathetic cranial nerve nucleus located in the pontine tegmentum.
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Nucleus of tractus solitarius

The nucleus of tractus solitarius, also known as the nucleus of the solitary tract or solitary nucleus, is a purely sensory nucleus located in the dorsolateral medulla oblongata. It receives many sensory inputs including taste information and sensory information from the middle ear. It surrounds...
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Retroaortic left renal vein

Retroaortic left renal vein (RLRV) is an anatomical variant where the left renal vein is located between the aorta and the vertebra and drains into the inferior vena cava. Its recognition is important in order to avoid complications during retroperitoneal surgery or interventional procedures 2....
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Kuhn classification

Kuhn classification is an anatomical classification for the subtypes of frontal cells. type 1 (~37%): a single air cell above the agger nasi cell type 2 (~19%): two or more air cells above the agger nasi cell type 3 (~7%): a single large cell above the agger nasi cell that extends into the fr...
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Frontal sinus outflow tract

The frontal sinus outflow tract is the drainage pathway of the frontal sinus. It is an hourglass-shaped structure with its waist at the frontal ostium. Terminology Depending on the references, the term frontal sinus outflow tract is either used synonymously with frontal recess or it can ref...
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Pubis

The pubis, together with the ilium and ischium, make up the innominate bone of the pelvis. These are individual bones in the youth and unite to form one bone in adults, the principal union being in the acetabulum. The pubis is the ventral part of the innominate bone and forms a median cartilagi...
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Symphysis

Symphyses are secondary cartilaginous joints composed of fibrocartilage. They are considered amphiarthroses, meaning that they allow only slight movement and are all found at the skeletal midline.  Examples symphysis pubis between the pubic bones medially manubriosternal joint between the ste...
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Planum temporale

The planum temporale is a part of the temporal lobe. Gross anatomy It is located at the upper and posterior aspect of the temporal lobe. It is bordered: anteriorly by Heschl's gyrus posteriorly and laterally by the Sylvian fissure  It is usually larger on the left than on the right; this mi...
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Recessus terminalis

Recessus terminalis is the name given to a blind-ending ethmoid infundibulum. It is an anatomical variant that occurs when the uncinate process inserts more laterally than usual onto the lamina papyracea. Practical points sinonasal disease extending into the recess terminalis may displace the ...
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Uncinate process

The uncinate process of the ethmoid bone is a thin hook-like osseous structure of the wall of the lateral nasal cavity. Gross anatomy Together with the ethmoid bulla, it forms the boundaries of the hiatus semilunaris and ethmoid infundibulum. The course of the free edge of the uncinate proces...
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Pterygomaxillary fissure

The pterygomaxillary fissure is a triangular shaped lateral opening of pterygopalatine fossa. Gross anatomy It is located in the medial aspect of the temporal fossa and is formed by the divergence of the maxilla from the pterygoid process of the sphenoid bone. It connects the infratemporal fos...
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Anatomical variants

Anatomic variants represent the deviations from the accepted standard human anatomy as printed in the classic textbooks (e.g. Gray's Anatomy 1), and taught in universities, dissecting rooms and clinical practice. History and etymology Since time immemorial, variations of the 'normal' human ana...
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Aberrant arachnoid granulations

Aberrant arachnoid granulations are arachnoid granulations that penetrated the dura but failed to migrate normally in the venous sinus. They are most often located in the greater wing of the sphenoid bone. Occasionally, they are seen in the posterior temporal bone wall. Clinical presentation A...
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Frontal ostium

The frontal ostium is an opening of the frontal sinus below the frontal infundibulum that drains into the frontal recess. Together with the frontal infundibulum and recess, it forms the frontal sinus outflow tract.
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Frontal infundibulum

The frontal infundibulum is a term that refers to the funnel-shaped inferior narrowing of the frontal sinus. Together with the frontal ostium and frontal recess, it forms the frontal sinus outflow tract.
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Frontal recess

The frontal recess is an opening in the inferior aspect of the frontal sinuses that allows drainage of the sinus. Terminology The frontal recess is also known as the nasofrontal duct. However, since it doesn't have bony walls of its own, it is more appropriately referred to as a recess rather ...
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Supraorbital cells

Supraorbital air cells are an anatomical variant of the paranasal sinuses. They consist of cells originating from the anterior ethmoid air cells extending posteriorly and superiorly over the orbit from the frontal recess. They may mimic septated frontal sinuses as their posterior wall is the sku...
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Frontal intersinus septal cells

Frontal intersinus septal cells, also known as interfrontal sinus septal cells, are a subtype of medial frontal recess cells. Gross anatomy The frnotal intersinus septal cells lie within the intersinus septum between the frontal sinuses. They usually drain in the medial aspect of the frontal r...
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Suprabullar cells

The suprabullar cells are a subset of variably present frontal recess cells located above the ethmoid bulla. Terminology They are nearly identical to frontal bullar cells. The distinguishing features with the latter are that the suprabullar cells are located entirely below the frontal ostium a...
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Frontal bullar cells

The frontal bullar cells are a subset of variably present frontal recess cells located above the ethmoid bulla. Terminology They are nearly identical to suprabullar cells. The distinguishing features with the latter are that the frontal bullar cells are located above the frontal ostium and ext...
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Agger nasi cells

Agger nasi air cells are the most anterior ethmoidal air cells lying anterolateral and inferior to the frontal recess and anterior and above the attachment of the middle turbinate. They are located within the lacrimal bone and therefore have as lateral relations the orbit, the lacrimal sac and t...
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Lateral lamella

The lateral lamella is the name given to the lateral boundary of the cribriform plate. It runs vertically and joins the fovea ethmoidalis inferomedially. It is the thinnest part of the cribriform plate. Practical points The lateral lamella needs to be assessed on pre-functional endoscopic sinu...
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Anterior ethmoidal artery

The anterior ethmoid artery is a branch of the ophthalmic artery. It supplies the anterior and middle ethmoidal sinuses, frontal sinus, the lateral nasal wall and the nasal septum (see nasal cavity). Gross anatomy It traverses the anterior ethmoidal foramen with the anterior ethmoidal nerve (w...
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Pontine arteries

The pontine branches are the small arterial branches of the basilar artery that supply the pons and structures adjacent to the pons. There are usually 3-5 paired arterial branches which are located in the mid-basilar region between the anterior inferior cerebellar artery and the superior cerebe...
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Middle cerebral artery

The middle cerebral artery (MCA) is one of the three major paired arteries that supply blood to the brain. The MCA arises from the internal carotid artery (ICA) as the larger of the two main terminal branches (the other being the anterior cerebral artery), coursing laterally into the lateral sul...
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Anterior communicating artery

The anterior communicating artery (ACOM) arises from the anterior cerebral artery and acts as an anastomosis between the left and right anterior cerebral circulation. Approximately 4 mm in length, it demarcates the junction between the A1 and A2 segments of the anterior cerebral artery. Branche...
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Congenital anomalies of the posterior atlas arch

Congenital anomalies of the posterior arch of the atlas (C1) are relatively common anomalies. They may range from partial defects presenting as clefts to complete absence of the posterior arch (aplasia). These anomalies are classified according to Currarino (see below). It should not be confuse...
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Unicornuate uterus

A unicornuate uterus or unicornis unicollis is a type of Müllerian duct anomaly (class II) characterised by a banana shaped uterus usually draining into a single Fallopian tube. Epidemiology This type can account for ~10% (range 6-13%) of uterine anomalies and infertility is seen in ~12.5% (ra...
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Müllerian duct

The Müllerian ducts (or paramesonephric ducts) are paired ducts of mesodermal origin in the embryo. They run laterally down the side of the urogenital ridge and terminate at the Müllerian eminence in the primitive urogenital sinus. In the female, they will develop to form the Fallopian tubes, u...
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Central canal

The central canal is the longitudinal CSF-filled space which runs the entire length of the spinal cord and represents the most caudal portion of the ventricular system. It is lined by ependyma. Gross anatomy The central canal spans the length of the spinal cord from the caudal angle of the fou...
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Synchondrosis

Synchondroses are primary cartilaginous joints mainly found in the developing skeleton, but a few also persist in the mature skeleton as normal structures or as variants. Structure Synchondroses are cartilaginous unions between bone composed entirely of hyaline cartilage. Most exist between os...
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Pancreas divisum

Pancreas divisum represents a variation in pancreatic ductal anatomy that can be associated with abdominal pain and idiopathic pancreatitis. It is characterised, in the majority of cases, by the dorsal pancreatic duct (main pancreatic and Santorini ducts) directly entering the minor papilla with...
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Interrupted aortic arch

Interrupted aortic arch (IAA) is an uncommon congenital cardiovascular anomaly where there is a separation between the ascending and descending aorta. It can either be complete or connected by a remnant fibrous band. An accompanying large ventricular septal defect (VSD) and/or patent ductus arte...
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Prostate

The prostate gland is part of the male reproductive system and is the largest male accessory gland. It typically weighs between 20-40 grams with an average size of 3 x 4 x 2 cm. The prostate is comprised of 70% glandular tissue and 30% fibromuscular or stromal tissue 1-3 and provides ~30% of the...
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Diaphragmatic apertures

The diaphragmatic apertures are a series of apertures that permit the passage of structures between the thoracic and abdominal cavities. There are three main apertures: aortic hiatus (T12) (not a true aperture) oesophageal hiatus (T10) vena caval foramen (T8) The vertebral levels of these ap...
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Splenius cervicis muscle

The splenius cervicis is part of the superficial layer of the intrinsic back muscles. It is one of the two muscles in this group, the other being the splenius capitis. Summary origin: spinous processes of T3-T6 insertion: transverse processes of C1-C3 innervation: dorsal rami of the lower ce...

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