ANATOMICAL VARIATIONS OF THE STERNUM IN MODERN EGYPTIANS
¹Waleed Ahmed Badawy, ²Hossam Y. Emam and ³Nora M. Qenawy
¹Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, MUST University, Egypt
²Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Egypt
³Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Zagazig University, Egypt
Background: Concerning xiphisternal morphological variations and presence of sternal foramen, their prevalence differs between populations, but data from Egyptian population is lacking. Sternal foramina occurred due to incomplete fusion of the sternal ossification centers. Sternal foramina have been correlated with several clinical and radiological implications. Aim: to report the variation in xiphisternal morphology and sternal foramina in modern Egyptians. Material and Methods: 124 dried human adult sterna of unknown sex and age were used. Variations in xiphisternal morphology and sternal foramen were studied. Linear measurements were taken with a Digital Vernier Caliper and a photographic documentation was obtained. Results: sternal foramina were found in 26 cases (20.97 %) of all examined sterna (124 sterna). sternal foramina present in the body in 9.68 % and in the xiphoid process in 11.29 %. All of the specimens presented one single visible sternal foramen in the sternal body. They were found at the level of the 5th intercostal segment in 58.33 % and at the level of the 4th intercostal segment in 41.67 %. They appeared rounded in shape in 66.67 % and oval in 33.33 %. The xiphoid foramina were present in 11.29 % of all specimens. Single xiphoid foramen was found in 57.14 % and double foramina were found in 42.85 %. The foramina were rounded in 57.14 %, oval in 28.57 % and key-hole shaped in 14.28 %. The xiphoid processes were single ended triangular in 36.66 %, rectangular in 30 % and bifid in 33.33% of cases. Conclusion:Variations of xiphisternal morphology and sternal foramina showed a higher frequency in modern Egyptians in comparison to other populations. Awareness of these anatomic variations is fundamental for clinicians to avoid misdiagnosis and severe complications.