The normal vascularization of the intradural filum terminale in man

Surg Radiol Anat. 1988;10(3):201-9. doi: 10.1007/BF02115238.


The arterial and venous blood-supply of the intradural filum terminale was studied microscopically in 18 fresh cadavers after removing the dorsolumbar spinal cord in one piece, with the roots and the filum in their dural sheath. The arteries were examined after manual injection of the artery of the lumbar enlargement, while study of the veins was made without injection since their bluish-black color made them easily identifiable. After gross examination, each specimen was fixed and then sectioned at 12 different levels from the medullary conus to the bottom of the dural sac for histologic study. The distribution of the vascularization of the filum terminale appeared constant. A single artery, the artery of the filum, arises from the termination of the anterior spinal axis, either by trifurcation or from the proximal part of one of the 2 branches of the anastomotic ansa of the conus. The artery travels in front of the filum, with rapidly diminishing caliber; rarely, it can be followed into the sacral canal. The vein of the filum travels in front of that structure but behind the artery, as in the cord; its caliber is uniform but varies from subject to subject. It traverses the dura below and is continuous with the anterior spinal vein above. No vessels were found on the dorsal aspect of the filum. While the artery of the filum is of a caliber proportional to that of the filum and appears to be a nutrient vessel, the vein has a caliber unrelated to that of the filum and appears rather as an intradural drainage route continuous with the anterior spinal vein.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Angiography
  • Arteries / anatomy & histology
  • Cauda Equina / blood supply*
  • Cauda Equina / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Phlebography
  • Veins / anatomy & histology