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Variability of measurements of cranial growth in the rabbit

Variability of measurements of cranial growth in the rabbit

American Journal of Anatomy 188(4): 393-400

This study concerns techniques used in experimental cranial growth research: roentgen cephalometry, roentgen stereophotogrammetry, and gross measurements (osteometry). A comparison of the precision of these methods has not been found in the literature. Computation of technical errors is fundamental to the sound evaluation of registered findings, and such a presentation must be obligatory in all biometric reports. We compared the measurement error of roentgen cephalometric and osteometric data with that obtained by roentgen stereophotogrammetry (RSA). RSA demonstrates a superior replicability, and this technique gives possibilities for kinematic and volumetric determinations simultaneously with distance evaluation. Roentgen cephalometry has the advantage of enabling distance and angular measurements between any well-defined skeletal points or lines. This technique, preferably after implantation of bone markers, is a reliable alternative, but optimal results necessitates calculations of the magnification factor for each bone segment involved. Direct osteometry does not contribute additional information, but problems of image magnification are omitted. Preferably, one individual should perform all measurements regardless of the method used. Growth rates and values calculated by one technique cannot be directly transformed to some other approach. In all probability, assessments of distance changes would gain substantially by using one technical approach consistently throughout actual age intervals. The least variable measurements of sutural growth are made for sutures growing primarily in one plane and with substantial growth rates. One must realize that differences among studies may be due to the limitations of, in particular, the cephalometric and osteometric techniques.

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Accession: 007993708

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PMID: 2392995

DOI: 10.1002/aja.1001880407

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