xKay
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How do I recognise from a cross sectional CT from T1 to L5 which vertebral level it is? I need to know this for my anatomy exam in 2 days, please help thank you!
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The Medic Portal
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Hello!

One of our doctors here has some information for you:

You need to first differentiate whether it is a thoracic ora lumbar vertebra. The body of the lumbar vertebrae will be wider and spinousprocesses will be longer, than the thoracic vertebrae.

However, its very difficult to look at a vertebra alone to decide what level it is. Instead, you have to use the surrounding anatomy to help guide you deduce what vertebral level the image is taken at.

You need to know your anatomy in relation to the vertebral levels.

Here are some of the main anatomical landmarks that arecommonly tested. If you see these anatomical structures on the CT scan then you identify the vertebral level.
T3/4: Arch of Aorta
T4: Trachea Bifurcation
T5-T9: Heart
T10: Oesophageal Hiatus (when it goes through diaphragm)
T11: Upper pole of left kidney
T12: Upper pole of right kidney, coeliac artery comes offaorta
L1: Hilum of kidneys (left is above and right is below):transpyloric plane
L4/5: aortic bifurcation into common iliac arteries,inferior vena cava formed from common iliac veins

Here are some links you might find helpful

http://www.instantanatomy.net/thorax...ciclevels.html

http://www.instantanatomy.net/abdome...minalwall.html

Hope that helps,
The Medic Portal
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