Surgical and Radiologic Anatomy

, Volume 41, Issue 9, pp 1071–1074 | Cite as

A mandibular bone defect of uncertain significance: report of a paleopathological case

  • Gastone Sabbadini
  • Paola Saccheri
  • Luciana TravanEmail author
Anatomic Variations


Anatomical variations of the mandibular canal as well as the presence of accessory canals and foramina are common findings in the human mandible. Here, we present a previously unreported type of anatomical variation, consisting of a large full-thickness bone defect of the right mandibular ramus, observed in a young male unearthed from a mediaeval cemetery located in North-Eastern Italy. The defect was located very close to, yet not directly connected with, the mandibular canal. Awareness of the existence of deviations from the anatomical norm such as that we describe here is strategic to avoid diagnostic misinterpretations, minimise technical hitches, and prevent clinical complications during invasive procedures in the region of the mandible.


Mandibular ramus Mandibular canal Anatomical variation Paleopathology 



The authors are grateful to the Soprintendenza Archeologica, Belle Arti e Paesaggio del Friuli Venezia Giulia for providing access to skeletal material and to Dr. Francesco Toso for providing the CT images.

Author contributions

All authors have contributed to preparing the manuscript. Contribution: PS; LT: data analysis and manuscript editing; GS: literature review, manuscript editing, and critical approval of the final manuscript.


The authors received no specific funding for this work.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflict of interest to declare.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medical Surgical and Health SciencesUniversity of TriesteTriesteItaly
  2. 2.Department of Medicine, Section of Human AnatomyUniversity of UdineUdineItaly

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