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Keywords:

  • Bone neoplasms;
  • chordoma;
  • computer-assisted image processing;
  • notochord

Abstract

Three-dimensional reconstruction experiments performed on serial sections of human embryos showed that the anatomy of the caudal and rostral ends of the notochord was complex. Forking of the ends, with separate fragments of chordal tissue, was demonstrated and these provide a way by which notochordal cell rests could be left behind in the basicranial and sacral regions when the notochord involutes elsewhere. Assuming the histogenesis of chordomas from notochordal cell rests, this would furnish an explanation for the observed skeletal distribution of chordomas.