Olfactory fossa

Last revised by Ciléin Kearns on 2 Jul 2023

The olfactory fossae or grooves 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 1. The floor is formed by the medial lamella of the cribriform plate, bordered laterally by the lateral lamella and medially by the perpendicular plate 1.

The depth of the olfactory fossa is determined by the length of the lateral lamellae of the cribriform plate, and may be asymmetric 3,4. 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. Complications of injury may include cerebrospinal fluid leak, periorbital and orbital hematoma, and blindness 5.


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