Body of sphenoid

Last revised by Craig Hacking on 1 Jul 2021

The body of the sphenoid bone is the midline cubical portion of the sphenoid bone, hollowed by the sphenoid air sinuses

Gross anatomy

The body has superior, inferior, anterior, posterior, and lateral surfaces.

The superior surface features:

The inferior surface features:

  • sphenoidal rostrum: continuous with sphenoidal crest, articulates with the vomer
  • vaginal process: projecting lamina on either side of rostrum, directed medially. Between these processes and the alae of the vomer are the variably present vomerovaginal canal.

The anterior surface features:

  • sphenoidal crest: middle, vertical crest that articulates with perpendicular plate of ethmoid that contributes to nasal septum
  • sphenoidal air sinus opening
  • sphenoidal conchae

The posterior surface forms part of the clivus.


The posterior surface joins the basilar part of the occipital bone.

The lateral surface (2) unites with the greater wing and medial pterygoid plate. It features: 

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: sphenoid bone, anterior view
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  • Figure 2: sphenoid bone, posterior view
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  • Figure 3: superior view (Gray's illustrations)
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  • Figure 4: anteroinferior view (Gray's illustrations)
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  • Figure 5: posteroinferior view (Gray's illustrations)
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