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The Korean Journal of Pathology 1985;19(4): 377-390.
Morphological Observation on the Prenatal Development of Human Femur: Analysis of 146 embryos and fetuses.
Yeon Lim Suh, Je G Chi
Department of Pathology, College of Medicine, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.
ABSTRACT
To evaluate the prenatal development of human femur, a histologic study was made based on normal femora of 24 embryos and 122 fetuses ranging in age from 5 to 41 weeks of gestation. Following observations were made. 1) The femur starts to be formed as mesenchymal condensation in the lower limb bud at 5 weeks of gestation. 2) By the end of the embryonic period (8 weeks), most of the skeleton of lower limb bud consisted of cartilage model defined by perichondrium. 3) At 9 weeks of gestation, endochondral ossification and primary bony trabeculae were prominent in the central portion of cartilage model. 4) At 11 weeks of gestation, along with pregression of endochondral ossification proximally endochondral growth zone was established near the proximal chondro-osseous junction. 5) At 12 weeks of gestation, most centrally located trabeculae were removed, and the marrow cavity and hematopoietic cells were recognized. The cartilage canal was also recognized at this time in the proximal epiphyseal cartilage. 6) In the middle of prenatal life (15-30 weeks), the shape of the femur was reconstructed by remodeling process. 7) The lamellar bone began to form by 31 weeks of gestation. 8) At 15 weeks of gestation, proximal end of ossified shaft showed convexity, and at 29 weeks this convexity was altered to form a rather distinct angulation. 9) As the femoral shaft elongated, primary bony collar continued to develop near the growth plate and remained at the level of the hypertrophied cartilage.