Vol 80, No 4 (2021)
Original article
Published online: 2021-11-05

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Quantitative anatomy of primary ossification centres of the lateral and basilar parts of the occipital bone in the human foetus

M. Grzonkowska1, M. Baumgart1, M. Badura1, M. Wiśniewski1, J. Lisiecki1, M. Szpinda1
Pubmed: 34750804
Folia Morphol 2021;80(4):895-903.


Background: Computed tomography (CT)-based quantitative analysis of primary ossification centres in the cranium has not been carried out to date due to the limited availability of the foetal human material. Detailed morphometric data about the development of primary ossification centres in human foetuses may be useful in the early detection of developmental defects. Understanding the growth and development of the occipital bone is crucial in assessing the normal and pathological development of the cranial base, and the cranium as a whole.
Materials and methods: The study material comprised 37 human foetuses (16 males and 21 females) aged 18–30 weeks of gestation. Using CT, digital image analysis software, three-dimensional reconstruction and statistical methods, the size of the primary ossification centres of the lateral and basilar parts of the occipital bone was evaluated.
Results: The morphometric characteristics of primary ossification centres of the lateral and basilar parts of the occipital bone display neither sex nor laterality differences. These ossification centres grow linearly with respect to their sagittal and transverse diameters, projection surface area and volume.
Conclusions: The obtained morphometric data of primary ossification centres in the lateral and basilar parts of the occipital bone may be considered as normative for their respective prenatal weeks and may contribute to the estimation of gestational ages and the diagnostics of congenital defects.

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