Unossified/developing anterior skull base

Case contributed by Dr Dalia Ibrahim


Nasal discharge and obstruction.

Patient Data

Age: Newborn
Gender: Male

Unossified crista galli. (Normal for age)

Small opacified both maxillary antra and ethmoidal complexes. (Well appreciated at CT images (not shown).

Non pneumatized frontal and sphenoid sinuses.

Note the non ossified anterior cranial skull base. (see crista galli)


Annotated image

Note the non ossified anterior cranial skull base.

Case Discussion

At birth, the anterior skull base is largely cartilaginous.

Ossification of crista galli & perpendicular plate of the ethmoid bone begins around 2 months of age.

By 6 months of age, 50% of the anterior skull base has completely ossified.

By 24 months, the majority of the cartilage of the anterior skull base is ossified.

It's important to understand the developing anterior skull base not to misinterpret it as pathology. 

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Case information

rID: 31351
Published: 2nd Oct 2014
Last edited: 14th Aug 2019
System: Head & Neck
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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