Morphometric and morphological study of most common sternal entity: sternal foramen
Introduction: The sternal foramina are the most common congenital variation which is usually asymptomatic. Since the sternum is used for red bone marrow aspiration and in open heart surgeries, presence of sternal foramen may cause life threatening complications like cardiac tamponade. If death occur due to such life-threatening complication due to sternal foramen may raise medico-legal issue. Aims and Objectives: The present study was aimed to determine the prevalence of sternal foramen and to provide statistical data of the morphometry and morphology of the sternal foramen in the Gujarat population. Material and Method: The study was conducted on 112 human dry sternum bones of unknown age and sex from bone stores of various medical colleges of central Gujarat during June 2022 to December 2022. All the sternum bones were macroscopically inspected for the presence of sternal foramen and its location, size, number and shape. The transverse, vertical and maximum diameters of the sternal foramen were measured. The vertical distance of the sternal foramen from the imaginary line connecting the superior border of adjacent costal cartilage and distance of the foramen from the left and right sternal borders were also measured. All the measurements were obtained using sliding vernier calliper and recorded in millimeter (mm). Statistical analysis was finally conducted in Microsoft excel. Results: In the present study out of 112 dry sternum bones observed the sternal foramina were found in 11 sternums. Out of 11 sternums only 1 sternum had 2 foramina while other sternums had only one foramen. In the present study most of the sternal foramina were located on the body of sternum (72.73%) median in position (91.66%) and round in shape (58.33 %). Average vertical diameter was 7.16 mm and transverse diameter was 5.75 mm while highest diameter measured was 13mm. Conclusion: The sternal foramina are common congenital defect commonly found in body of sternum. it is very important to be aware of its prevalence in various populations and its morphological and morphometric data for clinician, surgeons and forensic experts to diagnose sternal foramen and to prevent unwanted serious complications during invasive procedures.