Skull morphology and its neurosurgical implications in the Hippocratic era

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✓Differences in skull morphological characteristics among various human populations were first described by Herodotus of Halicarnassus. The Hippocratic treatise On Head Wounds (Περι των εν κεφαλη τρωματων) provided the first detailed description of human skull anatomy. The Hippocratic author presented the first systematic attempt to create a classification system of skull and cranial suture morphology. Detailed descriptions of various human skull types and cranial sutures were provided along with information regarding the macroscopic structure and thickness of different parts of the skull. The significance of skull thickness in patients with head injuries was also presented in the Hippocratic text. The authors discuss the influence of this treatise on the later development of descriptive skull anatomy and on the development of modern neurosurgery.

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Address reprint requests to: Kostas N. Fountas, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospital of Larisa, Lambrou Katsoni Street, Terpsithea 41500, Greece. email: knfountasmd@excite.com.

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