open access

Vol 65, No 4 (2006)
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Published online: 2006-09-18
Submitted: 2012-02-06
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The size of selected human skull foramina in relation to skull capacity

Wysocki J, Reymond J, Skarżyński H, Wróbel B
Folia Morphol 2006;65(4):301-308.

open access

Vol 65, No 4 (2006)
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Published online: 2006-09-18
Submitted: 2012-02-06

Abstract

An anatomical study was undertaken in order to investigate whether the sizes of selected human skull foramina with significant venous compartments correlated significantly with skull capacity. A total of 100 macerated human skulls were examined to determine the diameter of the foramina and the skull capacity. Measurements of the surface area of the foramina were made using a computerised digital analysis system. Only the size of the hypoglossal canal and jugular foramen were found to correlate significantly with the capacity of the skull. This correlation, together with the considerable size of the hypoglossal canal, indicated its important role in the venous drainage of the brain.
There was considerable centralisation of venous outflow from the brain, with 60% of the area of all venous foramina of the skull occupied by jugular foramina. Asymmetry between the right and left jugular foramina was identified, with an average ratio of 1.6 (ranging between 1 and 3.47). In the case of right-sided domination the correlation between the skull capacity and the size of both jugular foramina was negative (the larger the skull cavity, the less the asymmetry), while in the case of left-sided domination the correlation was positive. Perhaps the left-sided domination is less advantageous for the haemodynamics of blood outflow, as the left brachiocephalic vein is longer and is often compressed by the sternum and aortic arch.

Abstract

An anatomical study was undertaken in order to investigate whether the sizes of selected human skull foramina with significant venous compartments correlated significantly with skull capacity. A total of 100 macerated human skulls were examined to determine the diameter of the foramina and the skull capacity. Measurements of the surface area of the foramina were made using a computerised digital analysis system. Only the size of the hypoglossal canal and jugular foramen were found to correlate significantly with the capacity of the skull. This correlation, together with the considerable size of the hypoglossal canal, indicated its important role in the venous drainage of the brain.
There was considerable centralisation of venous outflow from the brain, with 60% of the area of all venous foramina of the skull occupied by jugular foramina. Asymmetry between the right and left jugular foramina was identified, with an average ratio of 1.6 (ranging between 1 and 3.47). In the case of right-sided domination the correlation between the skull capacity and the size of both jugular foramina was negative (the larger the skull cavity, the less the asymmetry), while in the case of left-sided domination the correlation was positive. Perhaps the left-sided domination is less advantageous for the haemodynamics of blood outflow, as the left brachiocephalic vein is longer and is often compressed by the sternum and aortic arch.
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Keywords

human skull; skull capacity; foramina; emissary veins; surface area; anatomy

About this article
Title

The size of selected human skull foramina in relation to skull capacity

Journal

Folia Morphologica

Issue

Vol 65, No 4 (2006)

Pages

301-308

Published online

2006-09-18

Bibliographic record

Folia Morphol 2006;65(4):301-308.

Keywords

human skull
skull capacity
foramina
emissary veins
surface area
anatomy

Authors

Wysocki J
Reymond J
Skarżyński H
Wróbel B

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