Among osteological anatomic variations are those of the skull base foramina. These openings have conventionally been classified as either constant or variant. Their presence and dimensions have been associated with certain pathologies and procedural complications. Additionally, variability in these foramina between different ethnic groups has been observed, and it is sometimes possible to identify particular patterns of variability in certain populations. This anthropometric cross-sectional study seeks to determine the principal dimensions (bilateral anteroposterior and lateromedial diameters) of five constant skull base foramina in the adult Muisca population of the Tibanica anthropological collection at Universidad de los Andes. The studied foramina were magnum, jugular, ovale, spinosum, and external opening of the carotid canal. Only dimensions of the external openings of the foramina were recorded, owing to the preservation state of the skulls in the collection. The mean left and right anteroposterior and lateromedial diameters were 3.48 mm, 6.16 mm and 3.25 mm, 6.26 mm for the foramen ovale; 2.38 mm, 2.65 mm and 2.39 mm, 2.66 mm for foramen spinosum; 8.36 mm, 15.41 mm and 8.55 mm, 15.10 mm for the jugular foramen; 5.28 mm, 6.75 mm and 5.48 mm, 6.97 mm for the external opening of the carotid canal; and 33.90 mm, 29.47 mm for the foramen magnum. All foramina were measured twice, no important differences were observed between the results obtained in the first and second measurements. The skull base foramina of the sample studied did not suggest high variability within the population regarding these characteristics. Moreover, we can state that the morphometric profile displayed by the Tibanica collection at Universidad de los Andes is different from the one observed in other populations. Additional studies of anatomic variations in indigenous populations may be needed to make possible similarities and/or differences and their causes evident.
KEY WORDS: Colombia; Cross Sectional Analysis; Skull; Anthropometry; American Native Continental Ancestry Group; Osteology.