Original Article

Surgical and Radiologic Anatomy

, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp 355-358

First online:

Morphometry by computerized three-dimensional reconstruction of the human carpal bones during embryogenesis

  • S. DurandAffiliated withLaboratoire d’anatomie, Institut d’Anatomie de ParisService de Chirurgie Orthopédique, Hôpital Avicenne Email author 
  • , V. DelmasAffiliated withLaboratoire d’anatomie, Institut d’Anatomie de Paris
  • , M. -C. Ho Ba ThoAffiliated withLaboratoire de biomécanique et génie biomédical, UMR CNRS 6600, Université de technologie de Compiègne
  • , Z. BatchvarovaAffiliated withLaboratoire d’anatomie, Institut d’Anatomie de Paris
  • , J. F. UhlAffiliated withLaboratoire d’anatomie, Institut d’Anatomie de Paris
  • , C. OberlinAffiliated withLaboratoire d’anatomie, Institut d’Anatomie de Paris

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Carpal skeleton shows drastic developmental changes during embryogenesis. At this stage, the cartilaginous matrices appear and later form models of the limb bones. The purpose of this study was to investigate the morphometry of carpal bones in humans during embryological development. We obtained digitalized histological serial sections of 18 human embryos and early fetuses from the Institute of Anatomy in Paris. Surfdriver and MSC.Patran software were used for three-dimensional reconstruction and morphometry. There was a strong correlation between the volume of the carpal cartilaginous structure and the size of the embryos (P<0.001) and an exponential correlation between the carpal volume and the percentage of volume presented by the proximal carpal row (P=0.005). According to inertia parameters, the geometry of carpal cartilaginous structure, initially plane, becomes curved during embryogenesis. Carpal bones growth follows non-homothetic transformation. The innovations in embryo reconstruction serve as new tool for scientific investigation. A hypothesis of carpal development is proposed.


Carpal bones Embryo Three-dimensional reconstruction Anatomy Histology