Cranial Fossae and Foramina (Superior View) – Cranium (Skull)

by Craig Canby, PhD

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    Welcome to this presentation on the cranium. Here, we’re looking at an anterior view of the cranium. We certainly want to explore the features that are related in the anterior view. But there’s much more to learn about the cranium. So let’s explore. First, it’s important to understand that the cranium contains three fossae. These are important in clinical imaging as they represent important landmarks for the identification of various lesions that we can see associated with the brain. The first of the three fossae shown here, this is the anterior fossa. This is the area that represents the anterior fossa. The second and middle fossa is aptly named the middle fossa. It would be this particular region in through here. Then the last fossa is the posterior fossa. We see it shown in through here. At the base of the posterior fossa, we have the foramen magnum. Let’s explore each fossa individually. As we do so, our interest is on the various openings, foramina that exist in each fossa and the structures that are transmitted through these various passageways. So with the anterior cranial fossa, the first aspect or structural feature to point out here is the presence of these very small cribriform foramina. We see them on either side of the anterior fossa. What’s important about these very small foramina is they’re going to transmit the axons of the olfactory neurons. Olfactory neurons are cranial nerve I. These neuronal axons will pass through the foramina and then synapse in the olfactory bulb. Clinically, there can be a fracture of the cribriform plate. If this was to occur, there would be a loss of smell, dysosmia. You could also have a loss of cerebrospinal fluid. This is referred to as rhinorrhea. The loss of fluid would be through the...

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Cranial Fossae and Foramina (Superior View) – Cranium (Skull) by Craig Canby, PhD is from the course Head and Neck Anatomy. It contains the following chapters:

    • Anterior Cranial Fossa
    • Middle Cranial Fossa
    • Posterior Cranial Fossa

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Anopsia
    2. Anosmia
    3. Rhinorrhea
    4. Meningitis
    5. Dysosmia
    1. Mandibular division of trigeminal nerve
    2. Oculomotor nerve
    3. Abducens nerve
    4. Trochlear nerve
    5. Ophthalmic division of trigeminal nerve
    1. Foramen spinosum
    2. Foramen ovale
    3. Superior orbital fissure
    4. Foramen lacerum
    5. Foramen rotundum
    1. Foramen ovale
    2. Foramen rotundum
    3. Inferior orbital fissure
    4. Superior orbital fissure
    5. Foramen spinosum
    1. Hypoglossal nerve
    2. Accessory nerve
    3. Vertebral arteries
    4. Posterior spinal arteries
    5. Anterior spinal arteries

    Author of lecture Cranial Fossae and Foramina (Superior View) – Cranium (Skull)

     Craig Canby, PhD

    Craig Canby, PhD

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