The human occipital bone: review and update on its embryology and molecular development

Bernard S, Loukas M, Rizk E, Oskouian RJ, Delashaw J, Tubbs RS.The human occipital bone: review and update on its embryology and molecular development.Childs Nerv Syst. 2015 Dec;31(12):2217-23. doi: 10.1007/s00381-015-2870-8. 

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION:

The formation of the occipital bone is intricate and has been extensively studied with many controversial conclusions, but with minimal effort being focused on the genes and molecular interactions necessary for its formation. A better understanding of this bone of the calvarial and skull base may shed light on pathologies where the occiput is often considered the offending entity.

METHODS:

A review of the germane medical literature using textbooks and standard search engines was performed to gather information about previous conclusions as it pertains to the embryology and ossification of the occipital bone.

RESULTS:

The occipital bone has both membranous and cartilaginous origin with ossification occurring as early as week 9 of fetal gestation. Its formations is dependent on complex interacts between genes and molecules with pathologies resulting from disruption of this delicate process.

CONCLUSION:

There has been much controversy in the past in regards to the development and ossification process necessary for occipital bone formation, which has only recently been clarified with documentation of the genes and molecular interactions necessary for its formation. Lastly, this improved knowledge might improve our understanding of such congenital derailments as the Chiari malformations.