open access

Vol 62, No 3 (2003)
Short Communications
Published online: 2003-06-09
Submitted: 2012-02-06
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Clinical anatomy of the human anterior cranial fossa during the prenatal period

Wojciech Derkowski, Alicja Kędzia, Michał Glonek
Folia Morphol 2003;62(3):271-273.

open access

Vol 62, No 3 (2003)
Short Communications
Published online: 2003-06-09
Submitted: 2012-02-06

Abstract

We examined the prenatal development of the human anterior cranial fossa and considered its clinical aspects. Our purpose was an evaluation of anterior cranial fossa geometry, its measurements and connections with the nasal cavity and middle cranial fossa.
The study was performed on 29 foetuses from the first and second trimester of pregnancy. New methods of computer image analysis, Scion for Windows 98 and ELF v 4.2, were applied to examine this anatomical region. Different options used were binarisation, equalisation, filters, linear and non-linear transformations and mathematical operations of images. This enabled the dynamics of prenatal development to be accurately evaluated for parts of the base of the human skull. Measurements were taken of angles of the cranial base. The anterior cranial base angle (the apex in the middle of the sella turcica and the arms running through the zygomatic ossification points) decreased gradually between C-R 6 to 23.5 cm from 170 to 120 degrees and afterwards became constant. The contrary-medial cranial base angle (adjacent to the anterior cranial base angle and with a second arm running through the auricular cartilage) increased from 50 to 70 degrees. The anterior cranial fossa was first located on the same level as the middle and posterior fossae. The process of descent of the middle and posterior cranial fossa begins in the 4th gestational month.
The geometry of the anterior cranial fossa changes rapidly, especially in the first trimester of pregnancy. The first trimester of pregnancy is crucial for the development of its defects. Preconception prophylaxis of inborn defects of the anterior cranial fossa is therefore extremely important.

Abstract

We examined the prenatal development of the human anterior cranial fossa and considered its clinical aspects. Our purpose was an evaluation of anterior cranial fossa geometry, its measurements and connections with the nasal cavity and middle cranial fossa.
The study was performed on 29 foetuses from the first and second trimester of pregnancy. New methods of computer image analysis, Scion for Windows 98 and ELF v 4.2, were applied to examine this anatomical region. Different options used were binarisation, equalisation, filters, linear and non-linear transformations and mathematical operations of images. This enabled the dynamics of prenatal development to be accurately evaluated for parts of the base of the human skull. Measurements were taken of angles of the cranial base. The anterior cranial base angle (the apex in the middle of the sella turcica and the arms running through the zygomatic ossification points) decreased gradually between C-R 6 to 23.5 cm from 170 to 120 degrees and afterwards became constant. The contrary-medial cranial base angle (adjacent to the anterior cranial base angle and with a second arm running through the auricular cartilage) increased from 50 to 70 degrees. The anterior cranial fossa was first located on the same level as the middle and posterior fossae. The process of descent of the middle and posterior cranial fossa begins in the 4th gestational month.
The geometry of the anterior cranial fossa changes rapidly, especially in the first trimester of pregnancy. The first trimester of pregnancy is crucial for the development of its defects. Preconception prophylaxis of inborn defects of the anterior cranial fossa is therefore extremely important.
Get Citation

Keywords

foetal skull base; premature craniosynostosis; computer image analysis

About this article
Title

Clinical anatomy of the human anterior cranial fossa during the prenatal period

Journal

Folia Morphologica

Issue

Vol 62, No 3 (2003)

Pages

271-273

Published online

2003-06-09

Bibliographic record

Folia Morphol 2003;62(3):271-273.

Keywords

foetal skull base
premature craniosynostosis
computer image analysis

Authors

Wojciech Derkowski
Alicja Kędzia
Michał Glonek

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