Eur J Anat, 15 (3): 140-149 (2011)
Morphometric evaluation and a report on the aberrations of the foramina in the intermediate region of the human cranial base: A study of an Indian population
Namita A. Sharma1, Rajendra S. Garud2
1Dept of Anatomy, Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University, Dental College and Hospital, Pune, India 2Dept of Anatomy, Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University, Medical College and Hospital, Pune, India
ABSTRACT The study of the skull and its foramina is important to anatomists, anthropologists, forensic experts and clinicians. It provides an insight into the evolutionary history of humankind. The dimensions of the foramina and variations in the same are clinically significant in view of the delicate neurovascular structures that traverse them. The present study focuses on the foramina communicating the middle cranial fossa with the base of the human skull. The parameters include the frequency of occurrence of accessory foramina, exocranial dimensions, bilateral symmetry, dominance and any variations in the regular paired foramina, along with their distances from the median plane. Measurements were taken on fifty dried human skulls of Indian origin. The instrument used was a sliding Vernier caliper with a precision of 0.01 mm. Ethnicity being a cause of variation is an interesting concept and was kept in mind while reviewing the work of others along with the observations made in the present study. Some rare aberrations were noted. One skull showed an ossified pterygospinous ligament and another had a thin bony bar across the foramen ovale. Both findings were unilateral and both would probably cause pressure on the neurovascular structures traversing the foramen ovale with the resultant clinical manifestations. In one skull, the carotid canal was bilaterally absent and the foramina lacera of the same skullwere rounded and smooth edged.
Keywords: Foramina, Base of human skull, Middle cranial fossa, Variations