Angular craniometry in craniocervical junction malformation

Neurosurg Rev. 2013 Oct;36(4):603-10; discussion 610. doi: 10.1007/s10143-013-0471-0. Epub 2013 May 3.


The craniometric linear dimensions of the posterior fossa have been relatively well studied, but angular craniometry has been poorly studied and may reveal differences in the several types of craniocervical junction malformation. The objectives of this study were to evaluate craniometric angles compared with normal subjects and elucidate the main angular differences among the types of craniocervical junction malformation and the correlation between craniocervical and cervical angles. Angular craniometries were studied using primary cranial angles (basal and Boogard's) and secondary craniocervical angles (clivus canal and cervical spine lordosis). Patients with basilar invagination had significantly wider basal angles, sharper clivus canal angles, larger Boogard's angles, and greater cervical lordosis than the Chiari malformation and control groups. The Chiari malformation group does not show significant differences when compared with normal controls. Platybasia occurred only in basilar invagination and is suggested to be more prevalent in type II than in type I. Platybasic patients have a more acute clivus canal angle and show greater cervical lordosis than non-platybasics. The Chiari group does not show significant differences when compared with the control, but the basilar invagination groups had craniometric variables significantly different from normal controls. Hyperlordosis observed in the basilar inavagination group was associated with craniocervical kyphosis conditioned by acute clivus canal angles.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arnold-Chiari Malformation / pathology*
  • Cephalometry / methods*
  • Cervical Vertebrae / diagnostic imaging
  • Cranial Fossa, Posterior / pathology
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Lordosis / pathology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Platybasia / pathology*
  • Radiography
  • Spine / pathology