Quantitative anatomy of the primary ossification center of the radial shaft in human fetuses.


Department of Normal Anatomy, The Ludwik Rydygier Collegium Medicum in Bydgoszcz, Łukasiewicza 1 Street, Bydgoszcz, 85-821, Poland. [Email]


OBJECTIVE : The medical literature still lacks studies on the size of the radial shaft primary ossification center, thus preventing us from potentially relevant data in diagnosing skeletal dysplasias, i.e., TAR syndrome, VATER syndrome, Holt-Oram syndrome, Fanconi anemia and Edwards syndrome, frequently characterized by disrupted or retarded fetal growth.
METHODS : The size of the radial shaft primary ossification center in 47 (25 males and 22 females) spontaneously aborted human fetuses aged 17-30 weeks was studied by means of CT, digital image analysis and statistics.
RESULTS : With neither sex nor laterality differences, the best-fit growth dynamics for the radial shaft primary ossification center was modeled by the following functions: y = - 10.988 + 1.565 × age ± 0.018 for its length, y = - 2.969 + 0.266 × age ± 0.01 for its proximal transverse diameter, y = - 0.702 + 0.109 × age ± 0.018 for its middle transverse diameter, y = - 2.358 + 0.203 × age ± 0.018 for its distal transverse diameter, y = -189.992 + 11.788 × (age)2 ± 0.018 for its projection surface area, and y = - 798.174 + 51.152 × age ± 0.018 for its volume.
CONCLUSIONS : The morphometric characteristics of the radial shaft primary ossification center show neither sex nor bilateral differences. The radial shaft primary ossification center grows proportionately in length, transverse dimensions and volume, and quadratically in its projection surface area. The obtained numerical findings of the radial shaft ossification center are considered age-specific reference of relevance in both the estimation of fetal ages and the diagnostic process of congenital defects.


Bone development,Fetal development,Osteogenesis,Radius,