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Skeletal Radiol. 2011 Apr;40(4):447-52. doi: 10.1007/s00256-010-1022-1. Epub 2010 Aug 19.

Anatomic evaluation of the xiphoid process with 64-row multidetector computed tomography.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, Fatih University School of Medicine, Alparslan Turkes Cad. No: 57 06510, Emek, Ankara, Turkey.



The aim of this study was to evaluate the interindividual variations of the xiphoid process in a wide adult group using 64-row multidetector computed tomography (MDCT).


Included in the study were 500 consecutive patients who underwent coronary computed tomography angiography. Multiplanar reconstruction (MPR), maximum intensity projection (MIP) images on coronal and sagittal planes, and three-dimensional volume rendering (VR) reconstruction images were obtained and used for the evaluation of the anatomic features of the xiphoid process.


The xiphoid process was present in all patients. The xiphoid process was deviated ventrally in 327 patients (65.4%). In 11 of these 327 patients (2.2%), ventral curving at the end of the xiphoid process resembled a hook. The xiphoid process was aligned in the same axis as the sternal corpus in 166 patients (33.2%). The tip of the xiphoid process was curved dorsally like a hook in three patients (0.6%). In four patients (0.8%), the xiphoid process exhibited a reverse S shape. Xiphoidal endings were single in 313 (62.6%) patients, double in 164 (32.8%), or triple in 23 (4.6%). Ossification of the cartilaginous xiphoid process was fully completed in 254 patients (50.8 %). In total, 171 patients (34.2%) had only one xiphoidal foramen and 45 patients (9%) had two or more foramina. Sternoxiphoidal fusion was present in 214 of the patients (42.8%).


Significant interindividual variations were detected in the xiphoid process. Excellent anatomic evaluation capacity of MDCT facilitates the detection of variations of the xiphoid process as well as the whole ribcage.

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