Incomplete Petrosphenoidal Foramen: Morphological and Morphometric Analysis and the Proposal of a Classification Study in Brazilian Dry Skulls

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Kennedy Martinez de Oliveira; Severino Denício Gonçalves de Souza; Edson Aparecido Liberti; Gabriel das Chagas Benevenuto; Gustavo Maia de Faria; Ana Clara Ferreira de Almeida; Ana Clara Camillato e Silva; Giuliano Roberto Gonçalves; Yuri Pereira Reis; Walteir Alves Magalhães; Valério Landim de Almeida; Maísa de Fátima Satiro Oliveira; Leandro Henrique Grecco; Arthur Adolfo Nicolato & Fabíola Alves dos Reis


The complete petrosphenoidal foramen, or canal, is an eventual and atavistic bony formation at the boundary between the posterior and middle cranial fossa, by occurrence of ossification of the superior petrosphenoidal ligament. This ligament ossification, which has important clinical and surgical significance, can be complete or incomplete, in variable degrees, and is associated with the passageway of neurovascular structures, such as the abducens nerve and the inferior petrosal sinus. This study, conducted with 175 dry skulls that belong to the University of São Paulo’s collection (USP), São Paulo, Brazil, established criteria for a morphological classification of the incomplete petrosphenoid foramen in nine types. In addition, anatomical parameters were established for the morphometric determination of two diameters: the Oblique Diameter (ObDi) and the Maximum Transverse Diameter (MTD). Thus, of the 175 skulls, 146 (83.42 %) presented some of the incomplete forms of the petrosphenoid foramen, and 43 skulls (29.45 %), due to their conservation characteristics, were habilitated to the morphological study, in the classification and in the morphometry (the types I and II of our classification). The type II (incomplete foramen with bony projections of the petrosal tubercle, of the margin of the dorsum of the hypophyseal fossa or of the posterior clinoid process with a distance between them greater than 1mm) and type V (incomplete foramen with a bony projection only in one of the referential structures - posterior clinoid process) were the most common in this study (50 % of the 86 hemiskulls). Morphometry was attributed only to the types: I selar (incomplete foramen with bony projections from the petrosal tubercle and the margin of the dorsum of the hypophyseal fossa with a distance between them less than or equal to 1mm) and to the type II of this classification. The type I selar (9.3 % of the 43 skulls) resulted in an average of 3.25 mm of MTD and 4.63 mm, on average, of ObDi. The type II (25.58 % of the 43 skulls) showed, on average, 4.93 mm of MTD and 7.01 mm of ObDi.

KEY WORDS: Superior petroesphenoidal ligament; Petroesphenoidal foramen; Dorello's Canal; Paraclival triangle.

How to cite this article

OLIVEIRA, K. M.; SOUZA, S. D. G.; LIBERTI, E. A.; BENEVENUTO, G. C.; FARIA, G. M.; ALMEIDA, A. C. F.; SILVA, A C. C.; GONÇALVES, G. R.; REIS, Y. P.; MAGALHÃES, W. A.; ALMEIDA, V. L.; OLIVEIRA, M. F. S.; GRECCO, L. H.; NICOLATO, A. A. & DOS REIS, F. A. Incomplete petrosphenoidal foramen: Morphological and morphometric analysis and the proposal of a classification. Study in Brazilian dry skulls. Int. J. Morphol., 40(2):507-515, 2022.