The spinal cord is tubular is shape, has 32 segments with the gray matter in the center and white matter on the outside. Each segment has nerve rootlets on the dorsal and ventral surface with ganglia attached to the dorsal nerve rootlets. These dorsal root ganglia contain the primary cell bodies of the general sensory systems: pain, temperature touch, and pressure.

The gray matter is shaped like a butterfly and the gray matter in all levels has three zones: a dorsal horn, a ventral horn, and an intermediate zone. A lateral horn is found in levels T1–L2.

The surrounding white matter is divided into three columns: dorsal, ventral, and lateral. The white matter is organized with the ascending systems on the outside and the descending systems closer to the gray matter.


Spinal Cord Gray Matter Dorsal Horn Muscle Spindle Posterior Horn 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

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