Morphometric development of the tongue in fetal cadavers
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Purpose The tongue is a specific organ for the sense of taste. It consists of the striated muscle and mucous membrane. Furthermore, it helps the functions of speech, chewing, and swallowing. In this study, we aimed to reveal some morphometric properties of the tongue in fetal cadavers. Methods The study was conducted on a total of 45 fetal tongues (25 male tongues, 20 female tongues) aged between 17 and 40 weeks. The fetuses were divided into three groups as trimester II, trimester III, and full term. For each tongue, the length, width, area, free tongue length, and the terminal sulcus angle were measured using Image J program. The free tongue length/tongue length ratio was examined. Results The obtained data were compared according to the trimester groups and genders. It was determined that the tongue length, width, area, and free tongue length increased during the trimesters and that there was no significant difference in the terminal sulcus angle and the free tongue length/tongue length ratio between the trimesters. No significant difference was found in all parameters between the genders. Conclusions This study presented significant data on morphometric development of the tongue. These data are thought to be useful for determining the anomaly and variations of the tongue.