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Encyclopedia > Fontanelle
The skull at birth, showing the anterior and posterior fontanelles.
The skull at birth, showing the anterior and posterior fontanelles.
The skull at birth, showing the lateral fontanelle.
The skull at birth, showing the lateral fontanelle.

In human anatomy, a fontanelle (or fontanel) is one of two "soft spots" on a newborn human's skull. There are, however, two more fontanelles of interest, the mastoid fontanelle, and the sphenoidal fontanelle. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... List of bones of the human skeleton Human anatomy is primarily the scientific study of the morphology of the adult human body. ... A human infant In basic English usage, an infant is defined as a human child at the youngest stage of life, especially before they can walk or simply a child before the age of one. ... Trinomial name Homo sapiens sapiens Linnaeus, 1758 Humans, or human beings, are bipedal primates belonging to the mammalian species Homo sapiens (Latin: wise man or knowing man) in the family Hominidae (the great apes). ... It has been suggested that temporal fenestra be merged into this article or section. ...


Fontanelles are soft spots on a baby's head which, during birth, enable the soft bony plates of the skull to flex, allowing the head to pass through the birth canal. Fontanelles are usually completely hardened by a child's second birthday, and will eventually form the sutures of the neurocranium.


The skull of a newborn consists of five main bones: two frontal bones, two parietal bones, and one occipital bone. These are joined by fibrous sutures, which allow movement that facilitates childbirth and brain growth. The frontal bone (os frontale, TA: A02. ... The parietal bones (os parietale) are bones in the human skull and form, by their union, the sides and roof of the cranium. ... The occipital bone, a saucer-shaped membrane bone situated at the back and lower part of the cranium, is trapezoid in shape and curved on itself. ... Side view of the skull. ... Parturition redirects here. ... In animals, the brain or encephalon (Greek for in the head), is the control center of the central nervous system, responsible for behaviour. ... The term cell growth is used in two different ways in biology. ...


At birth, the skull features a small posterior fontanelle, an open area covered by a tough membrane, where the two parietal bones adjoin the occipital bone (at the lambda). This fontanelle usually closes during the first several months of an infant's life. The posterior fontanelle (or occipital fontanelle) is triangular in form and is situated at the junction of the sagittal suture and lambdoidal suture. ... A biological membrane or biomembrane is an enclosing or separating tissue which acts as a barrier within or around a cell. ... Look up Λ, λ in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


There is also a much larger, diamond-shaped anterior fontanelle where the two frontal and two parietal bones abut. This fontanelle remains open until the child is about two years of age. In cleidocranial dysostosis it is often late in closing or never closes. The anterior fontanelle (bregmatic fontanelle, frontal fontanelle) is the largest, and is placed at the junction of the sagittal suture, coronal suture, and frontal suture; it is lozenge-shaped, and measures about 4 cm. ... Cleidocranial dysostosis or Cleidocranial dysplasia is a hereditary congenital abnormality of humans. ...


The anterior fontanelle is useful clinically. Examination of an infant includes palpating the anterior fontanelle. A sunken fontanelle indicates dehydration, whereas a very tense or bulging anterior fontanelle indicates raised intracranial pressure. Dehydration (hypohydration) is the removal of water (hydro in ancient Greek) from an object. ... Intracranial pressure, (ICP), is the pressure exerted by the cranium on the brain tissue, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), and the brains circulating blood volume. ...


Parents may worry that their infant may be more prone to injury at the fontanelles. In fact, although they may colloquially be called "soft-spots", the membrane covering the fontanelles is extremely tough and difficult to penetrate.


The fontanelles allow the infant brain to be imaged using ultrasonography. Once they are closed, most of the brain is inaccessible to ultrasound imaging, as the bony skull presents an acoustic barrier. Medical ultrasonography (sonography) is an ultrasound-based diagnostic imaging technique used to visualize muscles and internal organs, their size, structures and possible pathologies or lesions. ...


References


  Results from FactBites:
 
Fontanelle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (177 words)
In human anatomy, a fontanelle (or fontanel) is one of two "soft spots" on a newborn human's skull.
At birth, the skull features a small posterior fontanelle, an open area covered by a tough membrane, where the two parietal bones adjoin the occipital bone.
This fontanelle remains open until the child is about two years of age.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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