Foramina of the skull

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The following is a list of holes, or foramina, in the base of the skull and what goes through each of them. Arranged from anterior to posterior:

List of foramina

bone location Gray187.png foramen Gray516.png vessels Gray724.png nerves
frontal - supraorbital foramen supraorbital artery, supraorbital vein supraorbital nerve
frontal anterior cranial fossa foramen cecum emissary veins to superior sagittal sinus -
ethmoid - foramina of cribriform plate - olfactory nerve bundles (I)
ethmoid anterior cranial fossa anterior ethmoidal foramen anterior ethmoidal artery
anterior ethmoidal vein
anterior ethmoidal nerve
ethmoid anterior cranial fossa posterior ethmoidal foramen posterior ethmoidal artery
posterior ethmoidal vein
posterior ethmoidal nerve
sphenoid - optic canal ophthalmic artery optic nerve (II)
sphenoid middle cranial fossa superior orbital fissure superior ophthalmic vein
inferior ophthalmic vein
oculomotor nerve (III)
trochlear nerve (IV)
lacrimal, frontal and nasociliary branches of ophthalmic nerve (V1)
abducens nerve (VI)
sphenoid middle cranial fossa foramen rotundum - maxillary nerve (V2)
maxilla - incisive foramen/incisive canals - nasopalatine nerve
palatine - greater palatine foramen - greater palatine nerve
palatine and maxilla - lesser palatine foramina - lesser palatine nerve
palatine and maxilla - inferior orbital fissure inferior ophthalmic veins
infraorbital artery
infraorbital vein
zygomatic nerve and infraorbital nerve of maxillary nerve (V2)
orbital branches of pterygopalatine ganglion
maxilla - infraorbital foramen infraorbital artery
infraorbital vein
infraorbital nerve
sphenoid middle cranial fossa foramen ovale accessory meningeal artery mandibular nerve (V3)
lesser petrosal nerve (occasionally)
sphenoid middle cranial fossa foramen spinosum middle meningeal artery meningeal branch of the mandibular nerve
sphenoid - pterygoid canal artery of the pterygoid canal nerve of pterygoid canal
sphenoid and palatine - sphenopalatine foramen sphenopalatine artery -
sphenoid, temporal, and occipital middle cranial fossa foramen lacerum
(or carotid canal)
internal carotid artery internal carotid nerve plexus
temporal posterior cranial fossa internal acoustic meatus labyrinthine artery facial nerve (VII)
vestibulocochlear nerve (VIII)
temporal - stylomastoid foramen stylomastoid artery facial nerve
temporal - mastoid foramen emissary vein -
temporal - petrotympanic fissure - chorda tympani
occipital and temporal posterior cranial fossa jugular foramen posterior meningeal artery
ascending pharyngeal artery
inferior petrosal sinus
sigmoid sinus
internal jugular vein
glossopharyngeal nerve (IX)
vagus nerve (X)
accessory nerve (XI)
occipital - hypoglossal canal - hypoglossal nerve (XII)
occipital - condylar canal occipital emissary vein -
occipital posterior cranial fossa foramen magnum vertebral arteries
meningeal branches of vertebral arteries
medulla oblongata
spinal roots of accessory nerves
parietal - parietal foramen emissary vein -
mandible - mental foramen mental artery
mental vein
mental nerve
mandible - mandibular foramen inferior alveolar artery
inferior alveolar vein
inferior alveolar nerve
zygomatic - zygomaticofacial foramen - zygomaticofacial nerve
zygomatic - zygomaticotemporal foramen - zygomaticotemporal nerve

Base of skull

Upper surface

Gray193.png

Inferior surface

Gray187.png

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