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Superior View of Anterior Cranial Fossa Osteology

Surgical Correlation


Superior view of anterior cranial fossa osteology. The anterior cranial fossa is formed largely by the frontal bone and is bounded posteriorly by the lesser wings of the sphenoid. In its midline lies the ethmoid bone with its cribriform plate and superior projection, the crista galli. The falx cerebri attaches to this vertical projection. On either side of this are the olfactory fossae on which rest the olfactory bulbs. The cribriform plate, the roof of the nasal cavity, consists of multiple small foramina for the neurofilaments of the olfactory nerve. The ethmoid bone attaches posteriorly to the planum sphenoidale of the sphenoid body. Posterior to the lesser wings is the middle cranial fossa. The lesser wings end medially in curved projections as the anterior clinoid processes. At their medial edges are the openings of the optic canals transmitting the optic nerves and ophthalmic arteries. A transverse grooves connects these openings as the prechiasmatic sulcus for the optic chiasm. The frontal sinus is located between the outer and inner tables of compact frontal bone. (Image courtesy of PA Rubino)