Skeletal Radiology

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 35-38

First online:

Wormian bones in osteogenesis imperfecta and other disorders

  • Bryan CreminAffiliated withDepartment of Radiology, Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital
  • , Hillel GoodmanAffiliated withDepartment of Radiology, Groote Schuur Hospital
  • , Jürgen SprangerAffiliated withUniversitäts-Kinderklinik
  • , Peter BeightonAffiliated withDepartment of Human Genetics, University of Cape Town, Medical School

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When are Wormian bones significant is not an easy question to answer, but its relevance is important in relation to bone dysplasias such as osteogenesis imperfecta. Recognition will differ with age of patient, radiographic objectivity, and personal subjectivity. In order to attempt an answer, the skull radiographs of 81 cases of osteogenesis imperfecta of varying ages were examined for the presence of wormian bones. These were compared against the incidence of Wormian bones in 500 skull radiographs of normal children. Significant Wormian bones as against normal developmental variants were considered to be those more than 10 in number, measuring greater than 6 mm by 4 mm, and arranged in a general mosaic pattern. They were found in all the cases of osteogenesis imperfecta but not in the normal skulls. The occurrence of significant Wormian bones in other bone dysplasias from our material and that of the literature was recorded. Other incidental findings in the skulls of the cases of osteogenesis imperfecta were also appraised.

Key words

Osteogenesis imperfecta Skeletal dysplasia Wormian bones