Anatomical dimensions and variances of the foramen ovale in adult human skulls
Morphometry of the foramen ovale
Keywords:Foramen ovale, Cranial base, Morphometry, Anatomy
Background/Aim: The foramen ovale (FO) is very important in neurosurgical approaches; however, studies and developments in the literature report that no definite consensus about the cannulation of the FO is available. Therefore, more morphometric information concerning the FO is needed in addition to the previously defined morphological and morphometric features. The aim of this study was to compare the features of the foramen ovale stated in the literature and to analyze the topographic relationship between the FO and the anatomical structures around it to determine its precise location.
Methods: The study included 70 sides from 35 dry skulls of unknown age and gender. Skulls with any deformity or pathology that would affect the measurements were not included in the study. All skulls were placed in the horizontal plane with the external occipital protuberance facing posteriorly, the piriform aperture facing anteriorly, and the skull base pointing upwards at a 90° angle after which it was photographed vertically with the length scale. A Nikon D5300 Digital Camera was used for the photography, and digital image processing software (Image J) was used for foramen ovale measurements. In addition, the shape of the foramen ovale was classified as oval, almond, D-shaped, slit-shaped, round, and irregular. SPSS 21.0 was used for the statistical analysis.
Results: The mean anteroposterior diameter length of the FO was 6.144 mm, and the transverse diameter length was 2.885 mm. When the distribution of the shape of the FO was examined, oval and almond shapes were most common shapes (34.29%). In addition, round (12.85%), D-shaped (10%), and slit-shaped (8.57%) were obtained. According to Pearson’s correlation analysis, the highest correlation was between the distance from the carotid canal to the foramen ovale and the shortest distance from the foramen ovale to the midline (FO-CC and the FO-ML, respectively; r = 0.427).
Conclusion: The morphology of the FO is important in terms of surgical and interventional approaches. In the literature, no significant differences between the right and left sides for the foramen ovale were found in contrast to our study. When the FO shape percentages were examined in most previous studies, it was seen that most of them were oval. In this study, the ratios of oval and almond shapes were the same. Morphometric measurements can give different results in every race due to the structure of the bones, which may vary according to the population. We think that presenting data on the Turkish population in this study will set an example for conducting future studies.
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