Thursday, December 29, 2011

Denticulate Ligaments

The denticulate ligaments, also known as dentate ligaments, are pia-arachnoid covered thick collagenous bundles that extend from spinal cord to the dura mater. The 20-21 pairs of denticulate ligaments are located between the dorsal and ventral rootlets and divide the spinal canal into posterior and anterior compartments. They are thought to stabilize the cord within the spinal canal and are used by surgeons as landmarks to localize spinal pathways during cordotomy.

The most cephalad denticulate ligaments attach intracranially. They are located just posterior to the vertebral artery and the ventral rootlets of C1 and anterior to the branches of the posterior spinal artery, spinal accessory nerve and, dorsal rootlets of C1.

The dentate ligaments get denser in the lower thoracic spine and tend to attach to the dura mater closer to the exiting nerve roots compared to those of the cervical and upper thoracic spine.

The most caudal of the denticulate ligaments merge with the pia mater surrounding the filum terminale.


  • Epstein BS. Cinemyelographic examination of the cervical spinal canal and the craniovertebral junction: the dentate ligaments. Br J Radiol. 1967 Mar;40(471):195-200.
  • Kershner DE, Binhammer RT. Lumbar intrathecal ligaments. Clin Anat. 2002 Mar;15(2):82-7.
  • Sigmund EE, Suero GA, Hu C, McGorty K, Sodickson DK, Wiggins GC, Helpern JA. High-resolution human cervical spinal cord imaging at 7 T. NMR Biomed. 2011 Dec 20. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Tubbs RS, Mortazavi MM, Loukas M, Shoja MM, Cohen-Gadol AA. The intracranial denticulate ligament: anatomical study with neurosurgical significance. J Neurosurg. 2011 Feb;114(2):454-7.
  • Tubbs RS, Salter G, Grabb PA, Oakes WJ. The denticulate ligament: anatomy and functional significance. J Neurosurg. 2001 Apr;94(2 Suppl):271-5.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.