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Maierl, Johann; Liebich, Hans-Georg (1998): Investigations on the postnatal development of the macroscopic proportions and the topographic anatomy of the feline spinal cord. In: Anatomia, Histologia, Embryologia, Vol. 27, No. 6: pp. 375-379
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Abstract

The aim of this work was to investigate the postnatal development of the feline spinal cord. Our study showed that the main period of growth leading to the cervical and lumbar enlargements begins after birth and is completed at the age of 5–6 months. Comparing the relationship between the length of the spinal cord and the vertebral column, we found that in contrast to the adult cat, in the newborn cat, length, area and volume of segments show similar values along the spinal cord. This also applied to the length of the vertebrae. Due to a heterogeneous growth, not all segments of the spinal cord end up situated cranial to their corresponding vertebrae. As a consequence, the end of the conus medullaris is still located within the sacral canal in animals older than 2 months. These findings strongly propose that injections into the vertebral canal of the cat have to be performed caudal to the sacral vertebrae.