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Magnified View of Left Cranial Nerves IX-XII Entering their foramina

Surgical Correlation

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Magnified view of left cranial nerves IX-XII entering their foramina. The jugular foramen is a space between the petrous temporal bone anteriorly and the occipital bone posteriorly. It is divided into two unequal compartments by a fibroosseous bridge. The smaller, anteromedial compartment is the pars nervosa, which transmits the glossopharyngeal (CNIX) nerve and the inferior petrosal sinus. The larger, posterolateral compartment is the pars vascularis. It contains the jugular bulb and transmits the vagus (CNX) and both cranial and spinal portions of the spinal accessory (CNXI) nerves. The hypoglossal (CNXII) nerve is shown leaving the medulla and converging on the hypoglossal canal. The posterior inferior cerebellar artery, the largest branch of the vertebral artery, passes posteriorly around the upper part of the medulla between the origins of the vagus and spinal accessory nerves to supply the under surface of the cerebellum. (Image courtesy of M Nunez)

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