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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 145-148

Cranio-cervical bone hyperpneumatization: An overview and illustrative case

1 College of Medicine, Baghdad University, Baghdad, Iraq
2 College of Medicine, University of Cartagena, Cartagena de Indias, Colombia
3 Neuroradiology Department, Neurosurgery Teaching Hospital, Baghdad, Iraq
4 Department of Neurosurgery, Red-Latino, Colombia
5 Neurosurgery Department, Neurosurgery Teaching Hospital, Baghdad, Iraq

Correspondence Address:
Mohammed Maan AbdulAzeez
College of Medicine, Baghdad University, Baghdad
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2221-6189.241007

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The pneumatization of regions such as the apex of the temporal crag, the mastoid cells and the perilaberytic region is considered physiological in adults. The process of craniocervical pneumatization in unhealthy adults derives from a dysfunction at the level of the eustachian tube, which provides a valve effect causing an increase in pressure at the level of the middle ear, forcing the entry of air into the dome of the skull through the opening of the occipitomastoidal suture. The process of standard pneumatization of the temporal bones, begins in the final weeks preceding birth, characterized by a decrease in the embryonic mesenchyme at the antrum level and progresses through childhood until adolescence, when the stone portion at the level of the rock is pneumatized; Normal variants have been reported, such as pneumatization that extends from the temporal scale to behind the sigmoid sinus. With regard to the process of hyperneumatization, several etiologies have been proposed that a congenital process versus an acquired process to develop this condition should be compared. The present illustrative case is a seventy-three years old male presented to the outpatient clinic with chronic recurrent occipital headache, already investigated by general practitioner for elevated blood pressure which was excluded. We had checked him to exclude the cervical spinal origin of the occipital headache which was then excluded too. This case scenario demonstrates the debate about how to deal with such cases and thus the review will bring the attention of those who take care of such radiological findings to keep in mind the possible causes and complications according to the reported cases till now. We concluded that the hyperpneumatization of the craniocervical junction is an uncommon radiological finding that is usually asymptomatic although it can entail serious complications in some instances, especially when it enlarges progressively, which may be due to an acquired process. Thus, craniocervical hyperpneumatization deserves highlighting for the managing team to gain fluent treatment and better patient outcome.

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