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A Quantitative Method for Estimation of Volume Changes in Arachnoid Foveae with Age


  • Presented at the Annual Meetings of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists, Tampa, Florida, April 14–18, 2004.

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Stephen M. Duray, Ph.D.
Division of Life Sciences
Palmer College of Chiropractic
1000 Brady Street
Davenport, Iowa 52803


ABSTRACT: Age-related changes of arachnoid foveae have been described, but objective, quantitative analyses are lacking. A new quantitative method is presented for estimation of change in total volume of arachnoid foveae with age. The pilot sample consisted of nine skulls from the Palmer Anatomy Laboratory. Arachnoid foveae were filled with sand, which was extracted using a vacuum pump. Mass was determined with an analytical balance and converted to volume. A reliability analysis was performed using intraclass correlation coefficients. The method was found to be highly reliable (intraobserver ICC=0.9935, interobserver ICC=0.9878). The relationship between total volume and age was then examined in a sample of 63 males of accurately known age from the Hamann–Todd collection. Linear regression analysis revealed no statistically significant relationship between total volume and age, or foveae frequency and age (α=0.05). Development of arachnoid foveae may be influenced by health factors, which could limit its usefulness in aging.