Anatomic Variants of Foramen Ovale and Spinosum in Human Skulls

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Aaijaz Ahmed Khan; Mohd Asnizam Asari & Asma Hassan


Foramen ovale and spinosum are important foramina of the greater wing of the sphenoid. Normal variations in their shapes and sizes are quite common and widely studied. In the present study, conducted in the Department of Anatomy of School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 25 dried human skulls were examined for anatomic variations of the foramina of the greater wing of the sphenoid. During the study, we noticed anatomic variations of the foramen ovale and spinosum. In one skull, there was an abnormally large and irregular foramen ovale which was confluent with the foramen spinosum. In the second skull, the foramen spinosum was absent on the left side and in the 3rd skull it was duplicated on the right side. These variations are very rare and may be of clinical and anatomical significance to neurosurgeons and physicians particularly in cases of trigeminal neuralgia, diagnostic detection of vascular tumors and aneurysm.

KEY WORDS: Variation; Skull; Foramen; Sphenoid; Foramen ovale; Foramen spinosum.

How to cite this article

KHAN, A. A.; ASARI, M. A. & HASSAN, A. Anatomic variants of foramen ovale and spinosum in human skulls. Int. J. Morphol., 30(2):445-449, 2012.