Thursday, 6 September 2012

Foramina of the Skull and Structures Passing

Foramen Ovale:

Mnemonic: MALE
1. Mandibular Nerve (CN V3)
2. Accessory meningeal nerve
3. Lesser petrosal nerve
4. Emissary vein (Cavernous sinus to
pterygoid plexus)
5. Occasionally anterior trunk of middle
meningeal artery

Foramen Spinosum:

Mnemonic: MEN
1. Middle meningeal artery and vein
(posterior trunk)
2. Emissay vein
3. Nervus spinosus (Meningeal branch of
mandibular nerve)

Foramen Lacerum:

Mnemonic: MEIG
Structures passing whole length:
1. Meningeal branch of Ascending
pharyngeal artery
2. Emissary vein
Other structures partially traversing:
3. Internal carotid artery
4. Greater petrosal nerve

Carotid Canal:

Internal carotid artery (ICA) and venous and
sympathetic plexus around it

Foramen Rotundum:
Maxillary nerve (CN V2)

Stylomastoid Foramen:

1. Facial nerve (CN VII)
2. Posterior Auricular artery (Stylomastoid

Internal Acoustic Meatus:

1. Facial nerve (CN VII)
2. Vestibulo-cochlear nerve (CN VIII)
3. Nerves intermedius or pars intermedia of
4. Labyrinthe vessels

Hypoglossal canal:

1. Hypoglossal nerve
2. Meningeal branch of Hypoglossal nerve
3. Meningeal branch of Ascending
Pharyngeal artery
4. Emissary vein (Sigmoid sinus to internal
jugular vein)

Jugular Foramen:

1. Anterior part: Inferior Petrosal Sinus
2. Middle part: 9,10,11 MAP
a. CN IX (Glossopharyngeal nerve)
b. CN X (Vagus nerve)
c. CN XI (Accesory nerve)
d. Meningeal branch of Ascending
Pharyngeal Artery
3. Posterior part:
a. Internal Jugular vein (IJV) – Sigmoid sinus
b. Emissary vein (Sigmoid sinus to occipital
c. Occipital artery
Mastoid canaliculus (entry) and
Tympanomastoid fissure (exit):
Auricular branch of vagus nerve
Tympanic Canaliculus
Tympanic branch of CN IX (Glossopharyngeal

Incisive Foramen:

1. Greater palatine vessels
2. Nasopalatine nerves

Greater Palatine Foramen:

Mnemonic: GAP (Greater and Anterior Palatine Vessels)
1. Greater Palatine vessels
2. Anterior Palatine vessels

Lesser Palatine Foramen:

Middle and Posterior Palatine nerve

Superior Orbital Fissure:

1. Lacrimal nerve
2. Frontal nerve
3. Trochlear nerve
4. Occulomotor nerve
5. Nasociliary nerve
6. Abducent nerve
7. Superior ophthalmic vein

Foramen magnum:

Mnemonic: MAVer
1. Medulla oblongata
2. Ascending parts of spinal accessory
3. Vertebral arteries


  1. it is helpful. i was 'googling' something that would help me to get a better idea about the skull foramina and i got here. thank u. i am taking this into my notes.