Sternal Development and Variations and Anomalies in Patients With Microtia: Evaluation Using 3-Dimensional Computed Tomography

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The objectives of this study were to evaluate sternal development and variations in patients with microtia and to identify the incidence of congenital sternal anomalies and then to investigate the interaction between microtia and sternal anomalies.


A total of 212 consecutive patients received a preoperative 3-dimensional chest computed tomography. A retrospective study was performed with the clinical and imaging data from November 2014 to July 2015. Descriptive statistics, analysis of variance, Spearman analysis, χ2 test, and Fisher χ2 test were performed for statistics analysis.


We evaluated the ossification centers and developmental variations in the manubrium and body, as well as the xiphoid process, manubriosternal and sternoxiphoidal fusion, and sternal anomalies. Significant variations were observed from person to person. Sternal foramen was detected in 6 male patients (2.8%). All foramina were located in the inferior part of the body. Sternal cleft was observed in 4 cases (1.9%), of which 2 were accompanied by a foramen in the distal part of the sternum.


The development of the different components of the sternum is a process with wide variation among patients with microtia. A different distribution of mesosternal types I to II among our population age range was found, and the incidence of sternal foramina was lower in patients with microtia.

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