Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Transverse Ligament of the Atlas and the Alar Ligaments Using Ultrashort TE (UTE) Pulse Sequences
Bydder G, Turner R, Bydder M, Hughes T, Znamirowski R, Benjamin M
University of California, San Diego
Ultrashort TE imaging was used to study the transverse ligament of the Atlas and the alar ligaments in 6 normal adult volunteers. High signal regions were identified in the transverse ligament posterior to the odontoid process and extending laterally. They were also seen at the attachments of the alar ligaments. The features are consistent with the presence of fibrocartilage in the ligaments as described in anatomical studies. The distribution of fibrocartilage reflects its function in resisting compression and shear force. Fibrocartilage is also an important antigenic target in rheumatoid arthritis and seronegative disease.