Head Width

Definition Maximal biparietal diameter.

Landmarks Measure between the most lateral points of the parietal bones (eurion) on each side of the head (Fig. 7.7).

Anthropometer Basic Set

Instruments Spreading calipers give most accurate measurements. A tape-measure held above the head, avoiding the natural curve of the cranial vault, may be substituted.

Position The head should be held erect (in the resting position) with the eyes looking straight ahead.

Alternative Viewing the skull from in front or behind may allow measurement, but the most lateral point of the parietal bone is best judged from above.

Remarks Charts of head width are presented in Figs. 7.8 and 7.9. Alteration in skull shape will produce variation in this measurement; for example, dolichocephaly will reduce head width. X-ray measurements are more precise but do not take into account the thickness of soft tissues.

Figure 7.8 Head width, both sexes, at birth. From Merlob et al. (1984), by permission.

Figure 7.8 Head width, both sexes, at birth. From Merlob et al. (1984), by permission.

5 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 Gestational age (weeks)
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