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Rofo Fortschr Geb Rontgenstr Neuen Bildgeb Verfahr. 1997 Jan; 166(1): 69-71.

[The foramen sternale: a minor anomaly--great relevance]

Schratter M, Bijak M, Nissel H, Gruber I, Schratter-Sehn AU.

Zentralröntgeninstitut, Kaiserin-Elisabeth-Spital der Stadt Wien.

PURPOSE: Evaluation of the incidence of a midline sternal foramen, as a developmental anomaly, in order to avoid fatal complications following sternal puncture of sternal acupuncture treatment. MATERIAL AND METHODS: 100 chest computed tomograms were evaluated in reference to the incidence of this anomaly and its various features. RESULTS: The variety of CT aspects ranged from very incomplete types with only sandglass-like retraction of sternal cortex, to a complete foraminal defect. The incidence of midline sternal foramen in a feature bearing a risk of complication, is approximately 6%. CONCLUSION: We conclude that--if sternal acupuncture is planned in the region of corpus--previous radiographs should be done to rule out this anomaly. Furthermore, we strongly recommend the acupuncture technique of the "Wiener Schule", which prescribes a safe superficial-oblique approach to the sternum.

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