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July 2003

Osseous Lacrimal Arch

Arch Ophthalmol. 2003;121(7):1070-1071. doi:10.1001/archopht.121.7.1070-a

While investigating epigenetic variations of the human cranium, we noted the presence of a ring-shaped osseous bridge arching over the lacrimal fossa in 0.5% of 892 orbits examined (Figure 1).These arches were observed in 4 skulls; all were from white females, 1 young girl and 3 adults. In 1 of the skulls, the arches were observed on both sides. This anatomical variation is of interest from an anthropological point of view and would seem to also be of interest to anyone performing surgery, especially trauma repair, in this region. Numerous anatomical variations of the human cranium have been described, particularly by Le Double, 1 who also makes reference to comparative anatomy. Many of these variations have recently been given the generic designation of epigenetic variations, meaning nonmetric or discontinuous characteristics. The numerous epigenetic variations in the orbital region can be seen in the data collections described by Hauser and De Stefano2 or in our text.3 The anthropological importance of the presence of this variation is that its incidence could be associated with the female sex or certain populations.4

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