Body of sphenoid

Dr Craig Hacking and Dr Aaron Wong et al.

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:

  • ethmoidal spine: prominent spine that articulates with the cribriform plate and grooved on either side by olfactory lobes of brain
  • chiasmatic groove (a.k.a. optic groove): optic chiasm lies above and behind
  • optic canal: transmits optic nerve and ophthalmic artery
  • tuberculum sellae: elevation anterior to sella turcica
  • sella turcica: deep depression, pituitary fossa is deepest part
  • middle clinoid processes: small prominences on anterior part of sella turcica
  • dorsum sellae: plate of bone forming posterior boundary of sella turcica
  • posterior clinoid processes: tubercles on superior angle of dorsum sellae
  • petrosal process: articulates with apex of petrous portion of temporal bone
  • clivus: shallow depression posterior to dorsum sellae

The inferior surface features:

  • sphenoidal rostrum: continuous with sphenoidal crest
  • vaginal process: projecting lamina on either side of rostrum, directed medially

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 joins the basilar part of the occipital bone.

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

Anatomy: Head and neck
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Article information

rID: 37480
Section: Anatomy
Tag: anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • sphenoid body

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Cases and figures

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    Sphenoid bone sup...
    Figure 1: sphenoid bone, anterior view
    Drag here to reorder.
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    Sphenoid bone pos...
    Figure 2: sphenoid bone, posterior view
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