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Keywords:

  • C1 dorsal root ganglia;
  • spinal accessory nerve;
  • sensory neurons;
  • cadavers;
  • histologic study

ABSTRACT

This study examined C1 spinal nerve roots and their anastomotic connections with the spinal accessory nerve for histological evidence of sensory neurons in adult humans. C1 spinal nerves and roots with the adjacent segments of the spinal accessory nerve and the spinal cord were dissected en bloc from cadaveric specimens, and prepared for histological study. Results show that in 39.3% of specimens studied, no sensory component to the C1 spinal nerve could be identified. The C1 dorsal root was present 35.7% of the time, and when present it always contained neuronal cell bodies. In the remaining specimens, the sensory contribution to the C1 spinal nerve came through an anastomotic connection with the spinal accessory nerve. The investigators were able to identify clusters of neuronal cell bodies along the spinal accessory nerve at the level of C1 in 100% of the specimens examined. Anat Rec, 296:1588–1593, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.