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The growth of long bones in human embryological and fetal upper limbs and its relationship to other developmental patterns

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Measurements were made of the long bones of the upper limbs (humerus, ulna, radius) of 58 aborted embryos and fetuses, developmental age from 8 to 14 weeks, crown-rump length (CRL) between 38 and 116 mm. The specimens were cleared and double-stained, using alcian blue and alizarin red S for a differential detection of cartilage and bone. The values of both the total length (TL) and the ossified part (OL) of each long bone were related to the fetal developmental age previously estimated by freshly measured CRL. The relationship to another developmental pattern, i.e. the number of ossified centres in the vertebral column, suggested that the OL values could be much more significant than TL for the assessment of fetal growth.

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Correspondence to Vittorio Grill.

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Bareggi, R., Grill, V., Zweyer, M. et al. The growth of long bones in human embryological and fetal upper limbs and its relationship to other developmental patterns. Anat Embryol 189, 19–24 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00193126

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Key words

  • Development
  • Long bone ossification
  • Growth patterns
  • Human fetus