Chamberlain's, McGregor's and Bull's angle measurements for basilar impression of the skull were made on 22 adult patients with idiopathic steatorrhoea (probable gluten enteropathy), 24 patients who had had previous gastric surgery, and 48 control subjects. For each of the three measurements a value greater than the mean plus two standard deviations was taken as the upper limit of normal. In seven patients with adult steatorrhoea all three measurements were abnormal suggesting basilar impression, while basilar impression was probable in only one patient who had gastric surgery. The trend towards abnormal measurements was significant in the steatorrhoea patients but not in those who had gastric surgery. Basilar impression also was present in patients who did not have rickets or present evidence of osteomalacia. It was argued that this study could support a hypothesis that some cases of primary basilar impression of the skull are secondary to bone softening associated with malabsorption in early life, the evidence of which may have disappeared in adult life.
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