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, 39 (10), 1107-1116

Ossification Center of the Humeral Shaft in the Human Fetus: A CT, Digital, and Statistical Study

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Ossification Center of the Humeral Shaft in the Human Fetus: A CT, Digital, and Statistical Study

Marcin Wiśniewski et al. Surg Radiol Anat.

Abstract

Purpose: The knowledge of the development of the humeral shaft ossification center may be useful both in determining the fetal stage and maturity and for detecting congenital disorders, as well. This study was performed to quantitatively examine the humeral shaft ossification center with respect to its linear, planar, and volumetric parameters.

Materials and method: Using methods of CT, digital image analysis, and statistics, the size of the humeral shaft ossification center in 48 spontaneously aborted human fetuses aged 17-30 weeks was studied.

Results: With no sex differences, the best-fit growth dynamics for the humeral shaft ossification center was modeled by the following functions: y = -78.568 + 34.114 × ln (age) ± 2.160 for its length, y = -12.733 + 5.654 × ln(age) ± 0.515 for its proximal transverse diameter, y = -4.750 + 2.609 × ln (age) ± 0.294 for its middle transverse diameter, y = -10.037 + 4.648 × ln (age) ± 0.560 for its distal transverse diameter, y = -146.601 + 11.237 × age ± 19.907 for its projection surface area, and y = 121.159 + 0.001 × (age)4 ± 102.944 for its volume.

Conclusions: With no sex differences, the ossification center of the humeral shaft grows logarithmically with respect to its length and transverse diameters, linearly with respect to its projection surface area, and fourth-degree polynomially with respect to its volume. The obtained morphometric data of the humeral shaft ossification center are considered normative for respective prenatal weeks and may be of relevance in both the estimation of fetal ages and the ultrasonic diagnostics of congenital defects.

Keywords: Growth dynamics; Human fetus; Humeral shaft; Ossification center; Size.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest

Figures

Fig. 1
Fig. 1
A male human fetus aged 21 weeks in the transverse projection (a), its skeletal reconstruction (b), its right and left upper limbs in the lateral projection (c, d), its visualization referring to the left humerus (e), and humeral shaft ossification center (f) using OsiriX 3.9
Fig. 2
Fig. 2
Measurement scheme of the humeral shaft ossification center in the frontal plane. 1 length, 2 proximal transverse diameter, 3 middle transverse diameter, 4 distal transverse diameter, 5 projection surface area
Fig. 3
Fig. 3
Regression lines for length (a), proximal (b), middle (c), and distal (d) transverse diameters of the humeral shaft ossification center
Fig. 4
Fig. 4
Regression lines for projection surface area (a) and volume (b) of the humeral shaft ossification center

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