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Variability of human foramen magnum size


Gruber, P; Henneberg, M; Böni, Thomas; Rühli, Frank J (2009). Variability of human foramen magnum size. Anatomical Record, 292(11):1713-1719.

Abstract

The foramen magnum is an important landmark of the skull base and is of particular interest for anthropology, anatomy, forensic medicine, and other medical fields. Despite its importance, few osteometric studies of the foramen magnum have been published so far. A total of 110 transverse and 111 sagittal diameters from Central European male and female dry specimens dating from the Pleistocene to modern times were measured, and related to sex, age, stature, ethnicity, and a possible secular trend. Only a moderate positive correlation between the transverse and the sagittal diameter of the foramen magnum was found. Surprisingly, neither sexual dimorphism, individual age-dependency, nor a secular trend was found for either diameter. Furthermore, the relationship between the individual stature and foramen magnum diameters was weak: thus foramen magnum size cannot be used as reliable indicator for stature estimation. Further consideration of possible factors influencing the variability of human foramen magnum size shall be explored in larger and geographically more diverse samples, thus serving forensic, clinical, anatomical, and anthropological interests in this body part. Anat Rec, 2009. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

The foramen magnum is an important landmark of the skull base and is of particular interest for anthropology, anatomy, forensic medicine, and other medical fields. Despite its importance, few osteometric studies of the foramen magnum have been published so far. A total of 110 transverse and 111 sagittal diameters from Central European male and female dry specimens dating from the Pleistocene to modern times were measured, and related to sex, age, stature, ethnicity, and a possible secular trend. Only a moderate positive correlation between the transverse and the sagittal diameter of the foramen magnum was found. Surprisingly, neither sexual dimorphism, individual age-dependency, nor a secular trend was found for either diameter. Furthermore, the relationship between the individual stature and foramen magnum diameters was weak: thus foramen magnum size cannot be used as reliable indicator for stature estimation. Further consideration of possible factors influencing the variability of human foramen magnum size shall be explored in larger and geographically more diverse samples, thus serving forensic, clinical, anatomical, and anthropological interests in this body part. Anat Rec, 2009. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Balgrist University Hospital, Swiss Spinal Cord Injury Center
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Evolutionary Medicine
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Anatomy
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2009
Deposited On:25 Jan 2010 10:25
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:48
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:1932-8486
Publisher DOI:10.1002/ar.21005
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-28385

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