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The challenge of extra-intra craniometry: a computer-assisted three-dimensional approach on the equine skull

  • Background: The topographical correlations between certain extracranial and intracranial osseous points of interest (POIs), and their age-related changes, are indispensable to know for a diagnostical or surgical access to intracranial structures; however, they are difficult to assess with conventional devices. Materials and methods: In this pilot study, the 3-dimensional coordinates of extra-/intracranial POIs were determined, thus avoiding perspective distortions that used to be intrinsic problems in 2-dimensional morphometry. The data sets were then analysed by creating virtual triangles. The sizes, shapes, and positions of these triangles described the extent and the directions of the age-related shifts of the POIs. A selection of extracranial and intracranial POIs were marked on half skulls of four warmblood horses in two age groups (young: 6 weeks, n = 2; old: 14 and 17 years, n = 2). The x-, y-, and z-coordinates of these POIs were determined with a measurement arm (FaroArm Fusion, FARO Europe®). Direct distances between the POIs as well as their indirect distances on the x-, y-, and z-axis, and angles were calculated. Results: The analysed virtual triangles revealed that some parts of the skull grew in size, but did not change in shape/relative proportions (proportional type of growth, as displayed by POI A and POI B at the Arcus zygomaticus). The same POIs (A and B) remained in a very stable relationship to their closest intracranial POI at the Basis cranii on the longitudinal axis, however, shifted markedly in the dorso-lateral direction. In contrast, a disproportional growth of other parts of the cranium was, for example, related to POI C at the Crista nuchae, which shifted strongly in the caudal direction with age. A topographically stable reference point (so-called anchor point) at the Basis cranii was difficult to determine. Conclusions: Two candidates (one at the Synchondrosis intersphenoidalis, another one at the Synchondrosis sphenooccipitalis) were relatively stable in their positions. However, the epicentre of (neuro-)cranial growth could only be pinpointed to an area between them.

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Author:A. Lang, P. Brucker, M. Ludwig, Tibor Wrede, Joscha Theunert, H. Gasse
Parent Title (English):Folia Morphologica
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2017
Release Date:2019/01/10
Tag:cranial cavity; horse; osseous landmarks
First Page:458
Last Page:472
Link to catalogue:1694801470
Institutes:Fakultät II - Maschinenbau und Bioverfahrenstechnik
DDC classes:630 Landwirtschaft, Veterinärmedizin
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY-NC-ND - Namensnennung - Nicht kommerziell - Keine Bearbeitungen 4.0 International