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Aleksandra Gawlikowska, Florian Czerwiński, Violetta Konstanty-Kurkiewicz, Iwona Teul, Włodzimierz Tudaj
Med Sci Monit 2007; 13(6): BR131-135
Background: Symmetry and asymmetry have intrigued people for centuries. Most studies are based on adult specimens, and there are few asymmetry studies carried out on children and fetuses. The aim of this study was an x-ray evaluation of the asymmetry of human metatarsal bones in different periods of fetal life.
Material/Methods: The material consisted of 36 fetuses (18 male, 18 female). The fetuses were preserved in 10% formalin and the metatarsal bones were subsequently x-rayed in the A-P projection. Total area and length of the metatarsal bones were measured. The fetuses were divided into three groups according to fetal age calculated by measurement of the crown-rump length (CRL) and total length using the Scammon and Calkins methods. The results were put into tables which show which side of a sample bone pair is larger.
Results: Structural asymmetry in fetal metatarsal bones on the right and left side was found. In the younger group, the character of the asymmetry fluctuated. A clear one-sided domination in all metatarsal bones appeared only in the oldest group (over 26 gestational weeks).
Conclusions: These result demonstrate that such asymmetry forms and matures during ontogenesis, similarly to other systems and organs.