Sternal foramen anatomy and its importance in acupuncture practice: case report
The sternum is a single bone, long and flat, divided into manubrium, body and xiphoid process. It is located in the anterior part of the thorax, articulating with the two clavicles and with the first seven ribs, through costal cartilages. Malformation of the mesenchymal pulp of the sternum during the 6th and 9th week of gestation may lead to foramens or sternal clefts. The foramens are usually located between the 5th and 7th sternebra, which corresponds to the point VC-16 and VC-17 of the acupuncture practice. The present study aims to correlate the presence of sternum foramen to acupuncture practice and its clinical implications. 63 human cadaveric skeletons from the municipal cemetery of Cascavel-PR were analyzed according to Law No. 8,501 of November 30th, 1992. The cadaveric material preparation was performed by osteotechnic. Sternal foramens were found in 3 of the 63 skeletons analyzed, representing 4.76% of occurrence - a lower percentage than the ones observed in the literature. They were found in distinctic anatomical regions: between the 4th and 6th sternebra with an eight-shape, between the 5th and 7th sternebra with an anomalous shape and in the left anterior part of the xiphoid process with an oval shape. Since the sternal foramen puts the patient's life at risk because it is in an acupuncture and bone marrow extraction site, which can cause several complications, it is explicit its clinic importance and the need of health professionals’ preparation to deal with this anatomic variation.
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