Incidence of persistent metopic suture and extra sacral foramina in Ethiopian population

Amenu T. Wirtu, Soressa A. Geneti, Abay M. Zenebe, Solomon A. Ewnetu, Jickssa M. Gemechu


Lack of knowledge of variations in human morphology and their magnitude compared to normal anatomy may have significant clinical consequences. Accurate knowledge of anatomical variations provides important information in medico-legal issues, forensic interpretation, diagnostics, imaging and patient management including surgical procedures. Although underreported, it is believed that a significant proportion of clinical malpractice is due to suboptimal knowledge of anatomical variations. The present study aims to assess the anatomical variations of locomotor system structures in twenty-four formalin fixed cadavers used for dissection as part of Gross Anatomy course for medical students. The study was conducted in six medical schools in Ethiopia in the academic year 2015/2016. Following critical observation and careful dissection, photographs were taken accordingly. Our findings show a complete persistence of metopic suture in 4.2 % of frontal bone, incedence of five anterior and five posterior sacral foramina in 4.2 % of sacral bones and biceps brachii muscle with three heads of origin in 2.1 % of brachia. Altogether, the findings show the incidence of anatomical variants of clinical importance that need consideration during surgical procedures, diagnosis - especially in distinguishing fracture of bones - and patient management in Ethiopian population with diverse socio-economic background and geographical origin.


Anatomical variation; Locomotor system; Metopic suture; Sacral foramen; Biceps brachii muscle

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