Clivus (anatomy)

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Bone: Clivus (anatomy)
Superior view of the clivus
Longitudinal section of the head and neck showing the anatomical relation of the dens (labeled odontoid process of axis) and clivus (not labeled).
Gray's subject #35 148
/ Elsevier

Behind the dorsum sellæ is a shallow depression, the clivus, which slopes obliquely backward, and is continuous with the groove on the basilar portion of the occipital bone; it supports the upper part of the pons.

Relation of the clivus and dens

The clivus is an important landmark for checking for anatomical atlanto-occipital alignment; the clivus, when viewed on a lateral C-spine X-ray, forms a line which, if extended, is known as the known as Wackenheim's clivus line. Wackenheim's clivus line should pass through the dens of the axis or be tangential to it.[1]

See also


  1. McKenna DA, Roche CJ, Lee KW, Torreggiani WC, Duddalwar VA. Atlanto-occipital dislocation: case report and discussion. Can J Emerg Med 2006; 8(1):50-3. Available at: link and link. Accessed on: December 7, 2006.

External links

This article was originally based on an entry from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy. As such, some of the information contained herein may be outdated. Please edit the article if this is the case, and feel free to remove this notice when it is no longer relevant.