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3D geometric morphometric analysis of variation in the human lumbar spine

Martelli, S; Zlolniski, SL; Torres-Tamayo, N; Garcia-Martinez, D; Blanco-Perez, E; Mata, F; Barash, A; ... Bastir, M; + view all (2019) 3D geometric morphometric analysis of variation in the human lumbar spine. American Journal of Physical Anthropology , 170 (3) pp. 361-372. 10.1002/ajpa.23918.

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Abstract

Objectives: The shape of the human lumbar spine is considered to be a consequence of erect posture. In addition, several other factors such as sexual dimorphism and variation in genetic backgrounds also influence lumbar vertebral morphology. Here we use 3D geometric morphometrics (GM) to analyze the 3D morphology of the lumbar spine in different human populations, exploring those potential causes of variation. // Material and Methods: We collected 390 (semi)landmarks from 3D models of the CT scans of lumbar spines of 7 males and 9 females from a Mediterranean population (Spain, Israel) and 7 males and 8 females from a South African population for geometric morphometric (GM) analysis. We carried out Generalized Procrustes Analysis, Principal Components and Regression analyses to evaluate shape variation; and complemented these analyses with the Cobb Method. // Results: The Mediterranean sample was considerably more lordotic than the South African sample. In both populations female lumbar spines showed proportionally narrower and more craniocaudally elongated lumbar segments than in males. Also, the point of maximum curvature in females tended to be located more inferiorly than in males. // Discussion: Our results show that sexual dimorphism is an important factor of lumbar spine variation that mainly affects features of lumbar spine robustness (height proportions) and the structure – but not the degree – of its curvature. Differences in lordosis, however, are clearer at the inter-population level. This reflects previous conflicting studies casting doubts on pregnancy as an adaptive factor influencing lordosis. Other factors, e.g., shape of the individual lumbar vertebrae and intervertebral discs and their relative proportions within the lumbar spine should also be considered when exploring variation in vertebral column morphology.

Type: Article
Title: 3D geometric morphometric analysis of variation in the human lumbar spine
DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.23918
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1002/ajpa.23918
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Lordosis, Sexual dimorphism, Population variation, South African, Mediterranean, Caucasian
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Cell and Developmental Biology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10079348
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