A Comparative Study of Variation of the Pterion of Human Skulls from 13(th) and 20(th) Century Anatolia

Ilknur A., Mustafa K. I., Sinan B.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MORPHOLOGY, vol.27, no.4, pp.1291-1298, 2009 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 27 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1291-1298
  • Bursa Uludag University Affiliated: Yes


The pterion is a commonly used anthropologic and neurosurgical landmark defined as the junction of the sphenoid, temporal, parietal and frontal bones. It is commonly classified into four types based on sutural pattern: sphenoparietal, in which the sphenoid and parietal bones are in direct contact; frontotemporal, in which the frontal and temporal bones are in direct contact; stellate, in which all four bones come into contact at a point; and epipteric, in which a small sutural bone is found between the parietal bone and the greater wing of the sphenoid bone. In the present study, 44 Anatolian skulls from two different eras, Byzantine (13th century) and contemporary (20th century), were investigated for morphology and location of the pterion. Sphenoparietal was the most common form, comprising 87.5% and 89.2% in the Byzantine and contemporary groups, respectively. The frequencies of the epipteric type of pterion were 6.25% and 3.6% in the Byzantine and contemporary groups, respectively. Measurements of the location of the pterion were made by using stainless steel calipers and Scion Image software. There were no significant differences in digital and manual measurements between the right and left sides of the skulls in both groups. However, the distance from the pterion to the inion was significantly greater in the manual measurements compared to the digital measurements. Anatomical variations of the pterion, which are of interest to anthropologists, forensic pathologists and surgeons, deserve further investigation in other populations from different geographical areas.