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International Journal of Morphology

On-line version ISSN 0717-9502


UNVER DOGAN, Nadire et al. Anatomical Examination of the Foramens of the Middle Cranial Fossa. Int. J. Morphol. [online]. 2014, vol.32, n.1, pp.43-48. ISSN 0717-9502.

Three foramina can be identified in the greater wing of the sphenoid bone: The foramen rotundum (FR), foramen ovale (FO) and foramen spinosum (FS). In addition, there may be another foramen called foramen ovale accessorium or foramen vesalius (FV) which connects the middle cranial fossa to the fossa pterygoidea (pterygoid fossa). It is described as an opening with smooth walls in front and medial to foramen ovale which leads to an oblique channel directed towards the fossa pterygoidea. FV was present between FO and FR in 14 (31.8%) of 44 dry and 6 (33.3%) of 18 cadaver skullbase sides (total 20 (32.3%) of 62). The diameter values of foramens on both the right and the left side were observed to be almost symmetrical. FR's distance from the midline on the left side was greater than the right side. Also, the distance between FO and the petrous apex and the distance between FS and the petrous apex were greater on the left side. On the right side the distance between FO and FR, and the distance between FO and FS were greater. Also, the distance between FR and the petrous apex was greater on the right side. Anatomical variations in appearance size and distance of FR, FO, FS and FV are of great surgical importance. In conclusion, we can infer that the information provided with this study can help the neurosurgeon and anatomist to increase the knowledge about anatomy of middle cranial fossa.

Keywords : Foramen rotundum; Foramen ovale; Foramen spinosum; Foramen Vesalius.

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