Computational protocol: Anatomical Analysis on the Lateral Bone Window of the Sella Turcica: A Study on 530 Adult Dry Skull Base Specimens

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[…] Five hundred thirty dry skull base specimens with relatively complete sella turcica of Chinese adults (300 males and 230 females, mean age 67 years, range 20-98 years) were collected for the study. The following characteristics of the LBW (Table ) were measured or assessed:i) measurement of the area sizes of both LBWs, and analysis of the correlation between LBW area and depth of the sella turcica (STD)ii) observation and measurement of the distance between the anterior and posterior clinoid processes (APD)iii) observation and measurement of the maximum transverse diameter (MTD) of LBWiv) observation and measurement of the relative ratio between APD and MTDv) observation and measurement of the maximum longitudinal diameter (MLD) of LBW and the relative ratio between MLD and the height of the middle clinoid process (MCP)vi) observation and measurement of the occurrence and morphological characteristics of the sella turcica bridge (STB) and MCPvii) preliminary grading and classification of LBW, based on relevant data and morphology andviii) measurement of the lateral bone height (LBH, the vertical distance between the highest point on the bottom bone edge of LBW and the sellar floor).Of all the characteristics above, it is most difficult to measure the area size of LBW due to its irregularity. We used plasticine, vernier calipers, a camera, and ImageJ software (National Institutes of Health, USA) to measure LBW area (Figure ). We filled the sella with plasticine to demarcate the boundaries of LBW, and then removed the plasticine to observe contours of the LBW imprinted there. The upper boundary was defined by drawing a line from the anterior clinoid process to the posterior clinoid process, or by the lower edge of STB, when present. We affixed a multi-angle scale marker to the plasticine and took a photo, making certain that the camera lens was parallel with the plane of LBW, in order to reduce measurement error. Next, we used the “irregular shapes” function in our ImageJ software to draw a line along the contour of LBW. We then selected and measured the shape to get an initial value of the LBW area. The actual value of the LBW area was calculated proportionally using the scale marker. All data analysis was performed using SPSS 17.0 statistical software (Statistical Product and Service Solutions, USA). The means of measurement data were compared with independent samples t-test or paired t-test. Data correlations were analyzed using Pearson correlation. The criterion for statistical significance for all tests was p < 0.05.We confirmed that these tissue samples were donated to science and there was a detailed donation registration file for each specimen. And all measurement procedures were performed in accordance with guidelines issued by the Committee on Research in Human of Peking Union Medical College Hospital and approved by the Institutional Ethics Committee (Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China). […]

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