Radiologic Evaluation of the Fossa Navicularis on Dry Skull: A Comparative CBCT Study : Journal of Craniofacial Surgery

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Radiologic Evaluation of the Fossa Navicularis on Dry Skull: A Comparative CBCT Study

Adanir, Saliha S. MSc*; Bahşi, Ilhan MD, PhD*; Kervancioğlu, Piraye MD*; Orhan, Mustafa MD*; Aslan Öztürk, Elif M. DDS; Yalçin, Eda D. DDS; Topsakal, Vedat MD, PhD§

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The Journal of Craniofacial Surgery 34(3):p 1085-1088, May 2023. | DOI: 10.1097/SCS.0000000000009069


Fossa navicularis (FN) is defined as bony depression that is not always present and is located anterior to the foramen magnum and pharyngeal tubercle on the inferior aspect of the basilar part of the occipital bone. It has been reported that FN can create an infection spread path from the pharynx to the intracranial structures. Therefore, the diagnosis of this variation is important. Although cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) diagnostic accuracy has mostly been verified in detection and quantification particularly on human skulls, there is no study comparing morphometric measurements between direct measurement on the skull and CBCT measurement. The main object of this study is to evaluate the presence of FN on dry bones and CBCT images of the same dry skull and to examine the morphometric and morphological features of this formation. Thirty-two random craniums that were made available for this study that did not have any fractures or deformities of the cranial base were examined. The sagittal diameter, transverse diameter, and depth of the FN was measured both directly on dry skulls and radiologically on CBCT images of dry skull. In addition, the shape of FN (SFN) was determined. FN was detected in 10 (31.25%) of 32 craniums examined with both modalities. It was determined that sagittal diameter of the FN, transverse diameter of the FN, depth of the FN, and the shape of FN did not show a statistically significant difference between the 2 measurements. Unlike the literature, FN was investigated on dry bones both directly and in CBCT images in this study. In contrast to previously thought the FN may be smaller according to this findings, and this small variation can be detected with CBCT images. According to this findings, it can be said that morphometric evaluations on CBCT are accurate and reliable, and CBCT is a safe method for clinical diagnosis and treatment.

Copyright © 2022 by Mutaz B. Habal, MD

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