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The anatomical relationship between the celiac artery and the median arch ligament in degenerative spinal surgery.

BACKGROUND: This study aimed to characterize the anatomical relationship between the spine, the celiac artery (CA), and the median arcuate ligament using preoperative contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CT) images of patients with spinal deformity who underwent surgical correction.

METHODS: This retrospective study included 81 consecutive patients (34 males, 47 females; average age: 70.2 years). The spinal level at which the CA originated, the diameter, extent of stenosis, and calcification were determined using CT sagittal images. Patients were divided into two groups: CA stenosis group and non-stenosis group. Factors associated with stenosis were examined.

RESULTS: CA stenosis was observed in 17 (21%) patients. CA stenosis group had significantly higher body mass index (24.9 ± 3.9 vs. 22.7 ± 3.7, p = 0.03). In the CA stenosis group, J-type CA (upward angling of the course by more than 90° immediately after descending) was more frequently observed (64.7% vs. 18.8%, p < 0.001). The CA stenosis group had lower pelvic tilt (18.6 ± 6.7 vs. 25.1 ± 9.9, p = 0.02) than non-stenosis group.

CONCLUSIONS: High BMI, J-type, and shorter distance between CA and MAL were risk factors for CA stenosis in this study. Patients with high BMI undergoing fixation of multiple intervertebral corrective fusions at the thoracolumbar junction should undergo preoperative CT evaluation of the anatomy of CA to assess the poteitial risk of celiac artery compression syndrome.

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