Metric analysis of basal sphenoid angle in adult human skulls

Objective To analyze the variations in the angle basal sphenoid skulls of adult humans and their relationship to sex, age, ethnicity and cranial index. Methods The angles were measured in 160 skulls belonging to the Museum of the Universidade Federal de São Paulo Department of Morphology. We use two flexible rules and a goniometer, having as reference points for the first rule the posterior end of the ethmoidal crest and dorsum of the sella turcica, and for the second rule the anterior margin of the foramen magnum and clivus, measuring the angle at the intersection of two. Results The average angle was 115.41°, with no statistical correlation between the value of the angle and sex or age. A statistical correlation was noted between the value of the angle and ethnicity, and between the angle and the horizontal cranial index. Conclusions The distribution of the angle basal sphenoid was the same in sex, and there was correlation between the angle and ethnicity, being the proportion of non-white individuals with an angle >125° significantly higher than that of whites with an angle >125°. There was correlation between the angle and the cranial index, because skulls with higher cranial index tend to have higher basiesfenoidal angle too.