Foramen ovale (skull)

Foramen ovale (plural: foramina ovalia) is an oval shaped opening in the middle cranial fossa located at the posterior base of the greater wing of the sphenoid bone, lateral to the lingula. It transmits the mandibular division of the trigeminal nerve (CN V3), accessory meningeal artery, emissary veins between the cavernous sinuses and pterygoid plexus, otic ganglion, and occasionally the nervus spinosus and lesser petrosal nerve (see: mnemonic).

Variant anatomy

A study of 100 cadaveric skulls found it divided into two or three compartments in 4.5% of the cohort 2.

See also

Anatomy: Head and neck
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Article information

rID: 28232
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:

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Cases and figures

  • Skull base inferi...
    Figure 1: inferior view
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  • Skull base superi...
    Figure 2: superior view
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