Morphometric appraisal of the skull of Caroline Crachami, the Sicilian "dwarf" 1815?-1824: a contribution to the study of primordial microcephalic dwarfism.Am J Med Genet. 2002 Aug 15; 111(3):260-70.AJ
The skeleton of Caroline Crachami is a rare historical example of primordial microcephalic dwarfism (PMD). Studies show the condition to be heterogeneous, with at least three types, for which the assessment criteria rely on descriptive evaluations and/or simple measures with regard to cranial features. Advances in noninvasive imaging allow for a more complete morphometric examination of the skull of Caroline Crachami with the aim of clarifying aspects of the condition. In the present study, the skull of Caroline Crachami was three-dimensionally imaged with computed tomography (CT) and reconstructed in virtual space. Coordinates for a number of measurements were taken to represent interesting anatomies with an emphasis on those measures not easily replicated on the skull itself. Volumes of the endocranial cavity and sella turcica were also computed. These data were compared with normative values taken from the literature and measured from CT images of the Bosma collection. Findings indicate that the general size of the skull is equivalent to that of a 6- to 8-month-old, that the endocranial volume and cranial base angle are commensurate with that of a newborn, and that the sella volume is the same as that for an 8- to 15-month-old. Apart from these traits, the skull was well proportioned and within the range of normal variation for a skull aged between 2-9 years. We conclude that further quantitative analysis on related skulls is warranted in the study of PMD using the methods and techniques described.