A meta-analysis of anatomical variation within the pterion.


A meta-analysis of anatomical variation within the pterion.


Die Varianten des Pterion. Eine qualitative und quantitative Analyse der kno¨chernen Varianten des Kranium am Pterion.


Porthun Jan


Background: The pterion is the region within the skull in which the parietal, frontal, sphenoid and temporal bones meet, typically in the form of an H-shaped suture. A num- ber of studies have dealt with the frequencies of various types of pterion amongst people of specific geographical or ethnic backgrounds. For ethnically mixed populations, as are typically encountered in Western societies today, no mean values have yet been pub- lished that can be relied upon in everyday medical practice.
Objectives: The percentage frequencies of different pterion types published in various studies shall be collated so that case numbers can be calculated for an ethnically mixed population, and figures that are actually relevant for medical practitioners can be ob- tained.
Methods: A meta-analysis was carried out along with a quantitative analysis of publica- tions on pterion types based on an overall collective of more than 5700 skull halves. This was achieved by systematically reviewing a database-based literature survey that was not restricted to any particular historical time window.
Results: The four main types of pterion encountered in the literature are the sphenopari- etal, epipteric, frontotemporal and stellate variants. Numerous sub-forms have also been described for the epipteric variant. In 77% of all cases the sphenoparietal form was present. The epipteric variant was found in 14% of cases, while in 9% of cases another pterion type was seen.
Conclusion: For an ethnically mixed population, reliable frequency figures could only be obtained for the sphenoparietal and epipteric variants, while for the stellate and fronto- temporal types caution needs to be exercised when interpreting their frequencies.
Keywords: pterion, anatomy, variation, frontosphenoidal suture, skull


Hintergrund: Pterion ist eine Region am Scha?del die vom Os parietale, Os frontale, Os sphenoidale und Os temporale gebildet wird. In Lehrbu?chern finden sich kaum konkrete Aussagen zu den kno?chernen Varianten die am Pterion angetroffen werden ko?nnen.
Zielsetzung: Darstellung der verschiedenen Varianten des Pterion und Schaffung einer U?bersicht u?ber die Ha?ufigkeit des Vorkommens der einzelnen Varianten beim Menschen.
Methode: Qualitative und quantitative Analyse der Varianten des Pterion mittels einer systematischen U?bersichtsarbeit auf Grundlage einer datenbankbasierten Literatur- recherche ohne Begrenzung auf bestimmte Zeitra?ume.
Ergebnisse: Die vier Hauptvarianten, die in der Literatur angetroffen werden sind die sphenoparietale-, die epipterische-, die frontotemporale- und die stellate Variante. Von der epipterischen Variante werden zahlreiche Unterformen beschrieben. In 77% aller Fa?lle liegt die sphenoparietale Variante vor. Die epipterische Variante findet sich in 14% aller Fa?lle und in 9% aller Fa?lle findet sich eine andere Variante des Pterion.
Schlussfolgerung: Eine andere Variante als die sphenoparietale Variante kann bei je- der vierten erwachsenen Person erwartet werden. Es bedarf weiterer Forschung, um eine genaue Zusammenfassung u?ber die Seitenunterschiede und der verschiedenen epipterischen Varianten zu erstellen.
Schlu?sselwo?rter: Pterion, Anatomie, Kranium, Variation, Osteopathie

presented at

Date Accepted


Date Submitted

9.3.2014 00:15:04





Number of pages


Submitted by:







pterion, anatomy, variation, frontosphenoidal suture, skull




Porthun Jan.pdf

Item sets

Porthun Jan, “A meta-analysis of anatomical variation within the pterion.”, Osteopathic Research Web, accessed February 4, 2023, https://www.osteopathic-research.com/s/orw/item/3182