The Enigmatic Foramen Lacerum

The Enigmatic Foramen Lacerum AbstractOBJECTIVE:The microanatomic details of the foramen lacerum and surrounding region are described to clarify the relationship between the internal carotid artery and the foramen lacerum. The terminology related to these structures is reevaluated. Examples of pathological abnormalities restricted to the foramen lacerum region are presented to document the clinical relevance of this region.METHODS:Microanatomic dissections were performed in 12 formalin-fixed cadaveric specimens. Bony landmark were examined in 50 dry skulls. Microscopic sections of the region were obtained from cadaveric specimens that were formalin-fixed, decalcified, and processed for histological examination.RESULTS:The foramen lacerum is not a true foramen. No significant structures traverse its fibrocartilage. In this region, the bony and fibrous structures surround the internal carotid artery to form an incomplete canal, which serves as the rostral extension of petrous canal.CONCLUSION:The term foramen lacerum should be restricted to that portion of the cranial base at the confluence of the petrous portion of the temporal, basioccipital, and basisphenoid bones that in vivo is filled with fibrocartilage. The region immediately above the foramen lacerum, occupied by the internal carotid artery and traditionally considered the upper portion of the foramen lacerum, should be considered, anatomically and functionally, to be the rostral extension of the petrous canal. We suggest calling this extension the lacerum portion of the carotid canal. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Neurosurgery Oxford University Press

The Enigmatic Foramen Lacerum

A N A T O M IC R EPO R T Michael Tauber, M .D ., Harry R. van Loveren, M .D ., George Jallo, M .D ., Alberto Romano, M .D ., Jeffrey T. Keller, Ph.D. The Neuroscience Institute (MT, HRvL, CJ, AR, JTK), Department of Neurosurgery, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, and the Mayfield C lin ic (HRvL, JTK), Cincinnati, Ohio O B JEC T IV E : The microanatomic details of the foramen lacerum and surrounding region are described to clarify the relationship between the internal carotid artery and the foramen lacerum . The terminology related to these structures is reevaluated. Examples of pathological abnormalities restricted to the foramen lacerum region are presented to document the clinical relevance of this region. M E T H O D S : Microanatomic dissections were performed in 12 formalin-fixed cadaveric specimens. Bony landmark - were examined in 50 dry skulls. M icroscopic sections of the region w ere obtained from cadaveric specimens that were formalin-fixed, decalcified, and processed for histological examination. RESULTS: The foramen lacerum is not a true foramen. No significant structures traverse its fibrocartilage. In this region, the bony and fibrous structures surround the internal carotid artery to form an incomplete canal, which serves as the rostral extension of petrous canal. C O N C L U S IO N : The term fo ra m en la ce ru m should be restricted to that portion of the cranial base at the confluence of the petrous portion of the temporal, basioccipital, and basisphenoid bones that in vivo is filled with fibrocartilage. The region immediately above the foramen lacerum , occupied by the internal carotid artery and traditionally considered the upper portion of the foramen lacerum , should be considered, anatomically and functionally, to be the rostral extension of the petrous canal. W e suggest calling this extension the lacerum portion of the carotid canal. (N e u ro su rg e ry 4 4 : 3 8 6 - 3 9 3 , 1 9 9 9 ) m It Key words: Anatom y, Carotid can...
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Publisher
Congress of Neurological Surgeons
Copyright
© Published by Oxford University Press.
ISSN
0148-396X
eISSN
1524-4040
D.O.I.
10.1097/00006123-199902000-00083
Publisher site
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Abstract

AbstractOBJECTIVE:The microanatomic details of the foramen lacerum and surrounding region are described to clarify the relationship between the internal carotid artery and the foramen lacerum. The terminology related to these structures is reevaluated. Examples of pathological abnormalities restricted to the foramen lacerum region are presented to document the clinical relevance of this region.METHODS:Microanatomic dissections were performed in 12 formalin-fixed cadaveric specimens. Bony landmark were examined in 50 dry skulls. Microscopic sections of the region were obtained from cadaveric specimens that were formalin-fixed, decalcified, and processed for histological examination.RESULTS:The foramen lacerum is not a true foramen. No significant structures traverse its fibrocartilage. In this region, the bony and fibrous structures surround the internal carotid artery to form an incomplete canal, which serves as the rostral extension of petrous canal.CONCLUSION:The term foramen lacerum should be restricted to that portion of the cranial base at the confluence of the petrous portion of the temporal, basioccipital, and basisphenoid bones that in vivo is filled with fibrocartilage. The region immediately above the foramen lacerum, occupied by the internal carotid artery and traditionally considered the upper portion of the foramen lacerum, should be considered, anatomically and functionally, to be the rostral extension of the petrous canal. We suggest calling this extension the lacerum portion of the carotid canal.

Journal

NeurosurgeryOxford University Press

Published: Feb 1, 1999

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