Type of Article:  Original Research

Volume 5; Issue 4.3 (December 2017)

Page No.: 4674-4678

DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.16965/ijar.2017.434


Vasudha T.K 1, Divya Shanthi D’Sa *2, Sadashivana Gowd 3.

1 Associate Professor, Department of Anatomy, Subbaiah Institute of Medical Sciences, Shimoga, Karnataka, India.

*2 Assistant Professor, Department of Anatomy, Subbaiah Institute of Medical Sciences, Shimoga, Karnataka, India.

3 Professor, Department of Anatomy, Subbaiah Institute of Medical Sciences, Shimoga, Karnataka, India.

Corresponding address: Dr. Divya Shanthi D’Sa, Assistant Professor, Department of Anatomy, Subbaiah Institute of Medical Sciences, Shimoga -577201, Karnataka, India. Mobile no: 9448579590 E-Mail: drdivyadsa17@gmail.com


Background: Pterion is an anthropometrical landmark situated in the floor of the temporal fossa. The pterion corresponds to the site of the anterolateral fontanelle of the neonatal skull which closes at third month after birth. Pterion has been described as H shaped sutural confluence seen in the norma lateralis of the skull formed by the frontal and parietal bones superiorly and the greater wing of sphenoid and squamous temporal inferiorly. It’s location is approximately 4 cm above zygomatic arch and 3.5 cm behind the frontozygomatoc suture. Four different types of pterion i.e. sphenoparietal, frontotemporal, stellate and epipteric have been described in various population groups.

Methods and Results: The present study was undertaken in 150 adult skulls of unknown sexes available in department of Anatomy, Subbaiah Institute of Medical Sciences, Shimoga, to determine the location of pterion and define its type. In the present study, the sutural pattern of pterion was based on Murphy’s classification. Sphenoparietal was the commonest type (69.33%) of pterion. The second commonest type of pattern of pterion was epipteric pattern (14%) followed by stellate (11%) and frontotemporal (5.67%) types.

Conclusion: These findings will be of importance to anthropologists, anatomists, forensic pathologists and neurosurgeons. 

Key words: Epipteric bones, Pterion, Pterion types.


  1. Standring, S.; Ellis, H.; Healy, J. C. & Johnson, D. Gray’s Anatomy- The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice. 39th ed. London, Elsevier Churchill Livingstone, 2005. pp.441-84.
  2. Broca, P. Instructions craniologiques et craniométriques. Mém. Soc. Anthrop. Paris, 1875;2:1-203
  3. Murphy, T. The pterion in the Australian aborigine. Am. J. Phys. Anthropol., 1956; 14(2):225-44.
  4. Wang, Q, Opperman, L. A, Havil L. M, Carlson, D. S. & Dechow, P. C. Inheritance of sutural pattern at the pterion in Rhesus monkey skulls. Anat. Rec. A Discov. Mol. Cell Evol. Biol., 2006;288(10):1042-9.
  5. Marti B, Sirinelli D, Maurin L, Carpentier E. Wormian bones in a general paediatric population. Diagn Interv Imaging. 2013;94(4):428-32.
  6. Nayak BS, Soumya KV. Unusual sutural bones at pterion. IJAV. 2008;1:19-20.
  7. Natekar PE, de Souza FM, Natekar SP. Pterion: An anatomical [6] variation and surgical landmark. Indian Journal of Otology. 2011;17(2):83-85.
  8. Glorieux FH. Osteogenesis Imperfecta. Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol 2008;22:85-100.
  9. Oon CL, Yu SF. Posterior parietal fractures in infancy and early childhood. Singapore Med J 1971;12:13-6.
  10. Pryles CV, Khan AJ. Wormian bones. A marker of CNS abnormality? Am. J. Dis. Child. 1979;133:380–382.
  11. Das S, Suri R, Kapur V. Anatomical observations on os inca and associated cranial Folia Morphol. (Warsz). 2005;64:118–121.
  12. Ashley-Montagu, FM. The tarsian hypothesis and the descent of man. J. R. Anthropol. Inst. Great Britain Ireland 1930;60:335-62.
  13. Saxena SK, Jain SP, Chowdhary DS, A comparative study of pterion formation and its variations in the skull of Nigerian and Indians. Anthropol Anz 1988;46:75-82.
  14. Matsumura G, Kida K, Ichikawa R, Kodama G. .Pterion and epipteric bones in Japanese adults and fetuses, with special reference to their formation and variations]. Kaibogaku Zasshi.1991;66(5):462-71.
  15. Manjunath KY, Thomas IM. Pterion variants and epipteric ossicles in South Indian skulls. J Anat Soc India 1993;42:85-94.
  16. Saxena RC, Bilodi AKS, Mane SS, Kumar A. Study of pterion in skulls of awadh area-in and around Lucknow. Kathmandu Univ Med J 2003;1:32–33.
  17. Ersoy M., Evliyaoglu C, Bozkurt M, et al. Epipteric bones in the pterion may be a surgical pitfall. Minimally. Invasive Neurosurgery 2003;46(6):363365.
  18. Oguz O, Gurarslan Sanli S, Bozkir MG, Soames RW. The pterion in Turkish male skulls. Surg Radiol Anat.2004;26;220-224.
  19. Mwachaka, PM, Hassanali, J, Odula, P. Sutural morphology of the Pterion and asterion among adult Kenyans. Braz. J. Morphol. Sci., 2009;26(1):4-7.
  20. Zalawadia DA, Vadgama DJ, Ruparelia DS, Patel DS, Patel DSV. Morphometric Study of Pterion In Dry Skull Of Gujarat Region. NJIRM. 2010;1(4):25-29.
  21. Apinhasmit W, Chompoopong S, Chaisuksunt V, Thiraphatthanavong P, Phasukdee N. Anatomical consideration of pterion and its related references in Thai dry skulls for pterional surgical approach. Journal of The Medical Association Of Thailand Chotmaihet Thangphaet 2011;94(2): 205-214.
  22. Hussain Saheb S, Mavishettar, Thomas ST, Prasanna, Muralidhar P, Magi. A study of sutural morphology of the pterion and asterion among human adult Indian skulls: Biomedical research: 2011;22(1):7375.
  23. Suchit K, Anurag, Munjal S, Chauhan P, Chaudhary A, Jain SK. Pterion its location and clinical implications- A Study Compared. Journal of Evolution of Medical and Dental Sciences 2013; l2 (25): 4599-4608.
  24. Seema D, Dakshayani K.R, Sumanth M.M. A Morphometric Study of Pterion in Adult Human Skulls. International Journal of Recent Trends in Science And Technology. 2013;9:112-115.
  25. Sunday A. Adejuwon, Funmilayo E. Olopade, ModupeBolaji. Study of the Location and Morphology of the Pterion in Adult Nigerian Skulls. ISRN Anatomy Volume 2013; 1-4.
  26. Nair SK, Singh S, Bankwar V. Sutural morphology of the pterion in dry adult skulls of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar region of Indian subcontinent. Indian Journal of Forensic Medicine & Toxicology 2014; 8 (1):181.
  27. Hariprasad et al. Study of variations of bony pattern and presence of wormian bone at pterion in dry human skulls. IJBR 2014;05(11):668- 70.
  28. Pavan P. Havaldar, Shruthi B.N, Shaik Hussain Saheb, Henjarappa K S. Morphological Study On Shapes Of Pterion. Int J Anat Res 2015;3(4):1555-1558. DOI: 10.16965/ijar.2015.279

Cite this article: Vasudha T.K, Divya Shanthi D’Sa, Sadashivana Gowd. STUDY OF MORPHOLOGY OF PTERION AND ITS CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS. Int J Anat Res 2017;5(4.3):4674-4678. DOI: 10.16965/ijar.2017.434