- Foramen ovale (skull)
Name = Foramen ovale of Sphenoid
Latin = foramen ovale ossis sphenoidalis
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Sphenoid bone. Upper surface. (foramen ovale labeled at left, third from bottom)
Caption2 = Horizontal section of nasal and orbital cavities.
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base of the skullthe foramen ovale (Latin: oval window) is one of the larger of the several holes (the foramina) that transmit nerves through the skull. The foramen ovale is situated in the anterior part of the sphenoid bone, posteriolateral to the foramen rotundum.
Several nerves, arteries and veins pass through the foramen ovale. They are as follows:
Lesser superficial petrosal nerveof (CN IX) (note: the lesser superficial petrosal nerve sometimes passes through a special canal ("canaliculus innominatus" of Arnold), situated medial to the foramen spinosum)
Accessory meningeal artery(small meningeal or parvidural branch, sometimes derived from the middle meningeal artery)
Mandibular nerve(the third branch (V3) of the trigeminal nerve)
Emissary veins(from the cavernous sinusto the pterygoid plexus)
The contents of this foramen neatly form the mnemonic 'LAME'.
otic ganglionis situated directly under the foramen, but is also transmitted through the foramen ovale.
Morphology and morphometry
Similar to other foramina, the foramen ovale differs in shape and size throughout the natural life. The earliest perfect ring-shaped formation of the foramen ovale was observed in the 7th fetal month and the latest in 3 years after birth, in a study using over 350 skulls. cite journal | author=Yanagi S | title=Developmental studies on the foramen rotundum, foramen ovale and foramen spinosum of the human sphenoid bone | journal=The Hokkaido Journal of Medical Science | year=1987 | pages=485–96 | volume=62 | issue=3 | pmid=3610040]
In a study conducted on 100 skulls, the foramen ovale was divided into 2 or 3 components in 4.5% of the cases. The borders of the foramen in some skulls were also irregular and rough. This may suggest, based on radiological images, the presence of morbid changes, which might be the sole anatomical variation in the foramina ovale of humans. (Reymond et al.) cite journal | author=Reymond J, Charuta A, Wysocki J | title=The morphology and morphometry of the foramina of the greater wing of the human sphenoid bone | journal=Folia Morphologica | year=2005 | pages=188–93 | volume=64 | issue=3 | pmid=16228954]
In newborn, the foramen ovale is about 3.85 mm and in the adults about 7.2 mm in length. The average maximal length is about 7.48 mm and its average minimal length is 4.17 mm in the adult. The width extends from 1.81 mm in the newborn to 3.7 mm in adults.cite journal | author=Yanagi S | title=Developmental studies on the foramen rotundum, foramen ovale and foramen spinosum of the human sphenoid bone | journal=The Hokkaido Journal of Medical Science | year=1987 | pages=485–96 | volume=62 | issue=3 | pmid=3610040] cite journal | author=Lang J, Maier R, Schafhauser O | title=Postnatal enlargement of the foramina rotundum, ovale et spinosum and their topographical changes | journal=Anatomischer Anzeiger | year=1984 | pages=351–87 | volume=156 | issue=5 | pmid=6486466]
Foramina of skull
* [http://zemlin.shs.uiuc.edu/Skull/slide-Pages/10.htm Adult skull as seen from beneath at uiuc.edu]
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