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Side view of head, showing surface relations of bones. (Pterion labeled at center.)
Gray188-Sphenoparietal suture.png
Side view of the skull. (Pterion visible but not labeled. Arrow points to sphenoparietal suture, and pterion is slightly to the right of the tip of arrow.)
Gray's subject #46 182
Dorlands/Elsevier p_41/12678391

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The point corresponding with the posterior end of the sphenoparietal suture is named the pterion.


It is situated about 3 cm. behind, and a little above the level of the zygomatic process of the frontal bone.

It marks the junction between four bones:

Clinical significance

The pterion is known as the weakest part of the skull.

Clinically, the pterion is relevant because the middle meningeal artery runs beneath it, on the inner side of the skull, which is quite thin at this point.

A blow to the pterion (e.g. in boxing) may rupture the artery causing an extradural haematoma.


The pterion receives its name from the Greek root pteron, meaning "wing".

In Greek mythology, Hermes, messenger of the Gods, was enabled to fly by winged sandals, and wings on his head, which were attached at the pterion.

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 As such, some of the information contained herein may be outdated.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.

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| group5 = Clinical Trials Involving Pterion | list5 = Ongoing Trials on Pterion at Clinical Trials.govTrial results on PterionClinical Trials on Pterion at Google

| group6 = Guidelines / Policies / Government Resources (FDA/CDC) Regarding Pterion | list6 = US National Guidelines Clearinghouse on PterionNICE Guidance on PterionNHS PRODIGY GuidanceFDA on PterionCDC on Pterion

| group7 = Textbook Information on Pterion | list7 = Books and Textbook Information on Pterion

| group8 = Pharmacology Resources on Pterion | list8 = AND (Dose)}} Dosing of PterionAND (drug interactions)}} Drug interactions with PterionAND (side effects)}} Side effects of PterionAND (Allergy)}} Allergic reactions to PterionAND (overdose)}} Overdose information on PterionAND (carcinogenicity)}} Carcinogenicity information on PterionAND (pregnancy)}} Pterion in pregnancyAND (pharmacokinetics)}} Pharmacokinetics of Pterion

| group9 = Genetics, Pharmacogenomics, and Proteinomics of Pterion | list9 = AND (pharmacogenomics)}} Genetics of PterionAND (pharmacogenomics)}} Pharmacogenomics of PterionAND (proteomics)}} Proteomics of Pterion

| group10 = Newstories on Pterion | list10 = Pterion in the newsBe alerted to news on PterionNews trends on Pterion

| group11 = Commentary on Pterion | list11 = Blogs on Pterion

| group12 = Patient Resources on Pterion | list12 = Patient resources on PterionDiscussion groups on PterionPatient Handouts on PterionDirections to Hospitals Treating PterionRisk calculators and risk factors for Pterion

| group13 = Healthcare Provider Resources on Pterion | list13 = Symptoms of PterionCauses & Risk Factors for PterionDiagnostic studies for PterionTreatment of Pterion

| group14 = Continuing Medical Education (CME) Programs on Pterion | list14 = CME Programs on Pterion

| group15 = International Resources on Pterion | list15 = Pterion en EspanolPterion en Francais

| group16 = Business Resources on Pterion | list16 = Pterion in the MarketplacePatents on Pterion

| group17 = Informatics Resources on Pterion | list17 = List of terms related to Pterion