Olfactory fossa

The olfactory fossae, grooves or recesses of the cribriform plate are shallow depressions located within the ethmoid bone in the anterior cranial fossa that contains the olfactory bulb of the olfactory nerve. The floor is formed by the medial lamella of the cribriform plate, bordered laterally by the lateral lamella and medially by the perpendicular plate.

The depth of the olfactory fossa is determined by the length of the lateral lamellae of the cribriform plate. The Keros classification is a means of classifying the depth of the olfactory fossa, as this area of thin bone is at risk during endoscopic nasal surgery.


Head and neck anatomy
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Article information

rID: 56033
System: Head & Neck
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • olfactory groove
  • olfactory recess

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Cases and figures

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    Figure 1: olfactory fossa
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    Figure 2: olfactory fossa
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    Ethmoid bone. Ima...
    Figure 3: ethmoid bone
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