Surgical and Radiologic Anatomy

, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp 355–358 | Cite as

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

  • S. Durand
  • V. Delmas
  • M. -C. Ho Ba Tho
  • Z. Batchvarova
  • J. F. Uhl
  • C. Oberlin
Original Article


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 


  1. 1.
    Born G (1883) Die Plattenmodelliermethode. Arch Mikr Anat 22:584–599CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Canovas F, Banegas F, Cyteval C et al (2000) Carpal bone maturation assessment by image analysis from computed tomography scans. Horm Res 54(1):6–13PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Canovas F, Roussanne Y, Captier G, Bonnel F (2004) Study of carpal bone morphology and position in three dimensions by image analysis from computed tomography scans of the wrist. Surg Radiol Anat 26(3):186–190PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Delmas A et al (1995) Les musées Delmas-Orfila-Rouvière. Surg Radiol Anat 17(Suppl I):40–41Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Gray DJ, Gardner E, O’Rahilly R (1957) The prenatal development of the skeleton and joints of the human hand. Am J Anat 101:169–223PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Lefebvre V, Li P, de Crombrugghe B (1998) A new long form of Sox5 (L-Sox5), Sox6 and Sox9 are coexpressed in chondrogenesis and cooperatively activate the type II collagen gene. EMBO J 17:5718–5733PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Lewis OJ (1970) The development of the human wrist joint during the fetal period. Anat Rec 166:499–516PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    O’Rahilly R, Gardner E (1975) The timing and sequence of events in the development of the limbs in the human embryo. Anat Embryol 148:1–23PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Patterson RM, Elder KW, Viegas SF, Buford WL (1995) Carpal bone anatomy measured by computer analysis of three-dimensional reconstructions of computed tomography images. J Hand Surg (Am) 20A(6):923–929CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Pourquié O (2002) Biologie du développement. Méthodes (ed), ParisGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Senior HD (1929) The chondrification of the human hand and foot skeleton. Anat Rec 42:35CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Tardif B, Duparc F, Muller JM, Freger P (1998) Embryology of the human carpal bones (triangular cartilage, central carpal bone, morphogenesis of the scaphoid). Chir Main 17(3):266–276PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Windle WF (1944) Genesis of somatic motor function in mammalian embryos: a synthesizing article. Physiol Zool 17:247–260Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Durand
    • 1
    • 3
  • V. Delmas
    • 1
  • M. -C. Ho Ba Tho
    • 2
  • Z. Batchvarova
    • 1
  • J. F. Uhl
    • 1
  • C. Oberlin
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire d’anatomieInstitut d’Anatomie de ParisParis Cedex 06France
  2. 2.Laboratoire de biomécanique et génie biomédical, UMR CNRS 6600Université de technologie de CompiègneCompiègneFrance
  3. 3.Service de Chirurgie OrthopédiqueHôpital AvicenneBobignyFrance

Personalised recommendations