Crista galli

Dr Craig Hacking et al.

The crista galli is a thick, midline, smooth triangular process arising from the superior surface of the ethmoid bone, projecting into the anterior cranial fossa. It separates the olfactory bulbs, which lie either side of it in the olfactory fossae of the cribriform plate. It serves as an anterior attachment for falx cerebra. Immediately lateral to it are the nasal slits where the anterior ethmoidal nerve descending into the roof of the nasal cavity.

The crista galli may contain marrow or be pneumatised. On MRI, it may therefore appear T1 hyperintense if it contains marrow, or have low signal and mimic a mass if pneumatised.

History and etymology

The word crista galli is Latin for rooster's crest.


Head and neck anatomy
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Article Information

rID: 45496
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:

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Cases and Figures

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    Figure 1: pneumotised crista galli
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