Wormian bones

Dr Dan J Bell and A.Prof Frank Gaillard et al.

Wormian bones (a.k.a. intrasutural bones) is the name given to the additional small bones sometimes found between the cranial sutures of the bones of the skull vault, most commonly in relation to the lambdoid suture. Some reserve the term Wormian bones to just the intrasutural bones proximate to the lambdoid suture.

Some consider them abnormal only if greater than 10 in number.

Epidemiology

The reported incidence is variable, ranging from around 10% (in Caucasian skulls) and 40% (in Indian skulls) to 80% (in Chinese skulls) ref. In general, males are more frequently affected than females ref.

Associations

Their associations are various, and include:

Wormian bones can also be idiopathic (anatomical variant). 

A useful mnemonic is PORKCHOPS.

Locations

History and etymology

These bones are named after the person who first described them:

  • Ole Worm (1588-1654), Danish physician, theologian and antiquary, Copenhagen, Denmark.
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Article information

rID: 5288
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Wormian bone

Cases and figures

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    Figure 1: photgraph
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    Case 1: Inca bone and sutural bones
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    Case 2
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    Case 3
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    Case 4: in osteogenesis imperfecta
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