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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 1643-3750

Musculoskeletal Ultrasound: A Novel Approach for Luschka’s Joint and Vertebral Artery

Ying Yin, Xiaoxia Qin, Rongzhong Huang, Jing Xu, Yamei Li, Lehua Yu

Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2016; 22:99-106

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.896242

Available online:

Published: 2016-01-10


BACKGROUND: Cervical vertigo has been a controversial diagnosis for several years, and the lack of a diagnostic test is a critical problem. Musculoskeletal ultrasound (MSUS) is a real-time dynamic approach that is used to investigate the musculoskeletal and vascular systems.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: In this study, MSUS was used to examine whether there is a relationship among vertigo, the vertebral artery (VA), and Luschka’s joint proliferation in patients with cervical vertigo.
RESULTS: MSUS clearly revealed the size, shape, and characteristics of the Luschka’s joint, the VA, and the surrounding structures. The Luschka’s joint proliferation was not distributed uniformly, but the predilection sites were C4/5 (50.5%) and C5/6 (32.3%). The proliferation from C4/5 and C5/6 Luschka’s joints was the major cause of the grade 2/3 VA tortuosity. Moreover, there was a significant correlation between VA compression from Luschka’s joint proliferation and the symptoms of cervical vertigo.
CONCLUSIONS: MSUS is a real-time and noninvasive technique that can be used to locate and observe Luschka’s joint and the VA during research and clinical applications. In future practice MSUS could be used as a diagnostic approach for patients with suspected cervical vertigo.

Keywords: Adult, Aged, 80 and over, Cervical Vertebrae - anatomy & histology, Hemodynamics, Intervertebral Disc - anatomy & histology, Joints - physiopathology, Musculoskeletal System - diagnostic imaging, Ultrasonography, Vertebral Artery - diagnostic imaging, Vertigo - physiopathology