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open access eISSN 2093-3673

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Case Report

Anat Cell Biol 2021; 54(2): 280-284

Published online June 30, 2021


Copyright © Korean Association of ANATOMISTS.

Gross and radiographic appearance of porotic hyperostosis and cribra orbitalia in thalassemia affected skulls

Amnart Chaichun1 , Laphatrada Yurasakpong2 , Athikhun Suwannakhan2 , Sitthichai Iamsaard1 , Supatcharee Arun1 , Arada Chaiyamoon1

1Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, 2Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand

Correspondence to:Arada Chaiyamoon
Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen 40002, Thailand
E-mail: aradch@kku.ac.th

Received: December 23, 2020; Revised: February 9, 2021; Accepted: February 22, 2021

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Porotic hyperostosis (PH) is the expansion of the cranial diploë, generating ‘hair-on-end’ appearance on X-rays. This condition is extremely rare and had a prevalence of 0.08%. It is alternatively known as cribra orbitalia (CO) when the orbital roof is affected. In this study, we describe the gross morphology of two skulls affected by PH and CO. The first skull belonged to a 41-year-old female previously diagnosed with beta thalassemia. The skull was affected by excessive PH and CO. The second skull, belonging to a 35-year-old male diagnosed with unspecified thalassemia, showed PH without CO. The etiology of PH and CO is discussed. In conclusion, PH and CO are extremely rare, and are of significant importance for radiologists and anatomists when interpreting radiographs or encountering unusual gross morphology of the skull.

Keywords: Porotic hyperostosis, Cribra orbitalia, Hair-on-end, Thalassemia

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