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Novel Radiographic Assessment of the Cribriform Plate. Am J Rhinol Allergy 2018 May;32(3):175-180



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Background The cribriform plate (CP) is a common site of spontaneous cerebrospinal fluid (SCSF) leaks. Radiographic assessment of the anterior and lateral skull base has shown thinner bone in patients with SCSFs; however, prior assessment of the CP has required postmortem cadaver dissection. Objective To develop novel radiographic techniques to assess the anatomy of the CP. Methods Computed tomography (CT) scans were performed on cadaveric specimens. Bone density and anatomy of a predefined volume of interest of the posterior CP were assessed by two independent reviewers. CT assessment of olfactory foramina was also performed and validated using anatomic dissection of cadaver specimens. Results Interclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) for measuring the same volume of each CP was 0.96, confirming reproducible anatomic localization. Cadaver CPs had a mean Hounsfield units of 263, indicating a mix of bone and soft tissue, and ICC was 0.98, confirming reproducible radiographic measurements. Optimal CT estimates of bone composition of CPs averaged 85% (range 76% to 96%) compared to actual anatomic dissection which averaged 84% bone (range 74% to 91%, r = .690, P = .026). Conclusion Our novel, noninvasive CT method for assessing CP anatomy is reproducible and correlates with anatomic dissection assessing bone composition. The clinical implications of anatomic changes in the CP are an area for further study.

Author List

Ganjaei KG, Soler ZM, Mappus ED, Taylor RJ, Worley ML, Mulligan JK, Mattos JL, Rowan NR, Garcia GJM, Dubno JR, Eckert MA, Matthews LJ, Schlosser RJ


Guilherme Garcia PhD Assistant Professor in the Biomedical Engineering department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Bone Density
Ethmoid Bone
Radiographic Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted
Reproducibility of Results
Skull Base
Tomography, X-Ray Computed
jenkins-FCD Prod-467 7c8a156729bba74d775d9c546792cde315827259