Only a few studies have concerned themselves with the development of the fetal vertebral column, and this paper attempts to extend the literature. Standards are presented for the growth in width of the human vertebral column between 10 and 26 weeks of conceptual age. The growth patterns show that cervical and lumbar enlargements are not present at 8 weeks but develop slowly and become clearly present at 26 weeks. The growth equations also show that groups of vertebrae have their own growth patterns, indicating that the vertebral column could be separated into five groups: C1–C5, C6–C7, T1–T12, L1–S1, and S2–S5. Furthermore, comparisons with growth patterns available for growth in length from other studies reveal that some vertebrae appear to develop in one dimension independently of another.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)