Cranial foramina

Last revised by Dr Francis Deng on 05 Nov 2019

The cranial foramina are the holes that exist in the skull to allow the passage of structures into and out of the cranium. Some clefts/fissures, which are not entirely surrounded by bone, and canals, which are longer than their diameter, are often included in this category.

Most cranial foramina are at the base of skull:

Additional cranial foramina include congenital calvarial defects, such as​ parietal foramen.

Other foramina in the skull are not strictly related to the cranium (bones surrounding the intracranial cavity) but rather to the bones of the face and jaw:

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Cases and figures

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