EBM Consult

Wackenheim Line on Radiographic Image


  • The Wackenheim line is drawn from the caudal extension of the dorsal surface of the clivus and is used to measure the distance of space to the tip of the dens (or odontoid process).  
  • If the dens cross over or above this line it is concerning for a possible basilar invagination.

Wackenheim's Line

    Radiographic (X-Ray) Image

    Wackenheim Line Image 

    Related Content

    To see other related content please select an item below:


    McRae Line      Chamberlain Line   Lateral X-Ray     Odontoid View

    1. Kwong Y et al.  AJR Am J Roentgenol 2011;196(4):W421-5. PubMed 
    2. Cronin CG et al. Clin Radiol 2009;64(1):64-9. PubMed

    Editors & Reviewers

    Editors:  Anthony J. Busti, MD, PharmD, FNLA, FAHA
    Last Updated:  June 2015