Central base of skull

The central base of skull is a region of the skull base centered on the pituitary fossa and includes surrounding structures.

Despite no single universally accepted definition of this region, it is frequently used clinically and is conceptually useful particularly when considering tumors of the base of the skull.

Most authors attempt to define it fairly narrowly based on specific anatomical landmarks. For example, defining it as medial to foramen spinosum and foramen ovale. Anteriorly, extending to include the tuberculum sellae and posteriorly the dorsum sella and upper part of the clivus above the spheno-occipital synchondrosis. Posterolaterally, extending to the petroclival synchondrosis 1-3.

The exact boundaries will, however, vary somewhat between authors and depending on specialty with some definitions dividing the central base of skull into midline, parasagittal and lateral compartments 4.

As these boundaries are not respected by pathology it is of academic interest only and in clinical practice, a more pragmatic definition can be safely used in most instances; the central base of skull is that portion of the skull base centered on the pituitary fossa and encompassing the cranial nerve foramina for cranial nerves II to VI and the upper clivus.

Share article

Article information

rID: 59245
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:

Support Radiopaedia and see fewer ads

Cases and figures

  • Figure 1
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Updating… Please wait.

     Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

     Thank you for updating your details.