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Jugular foramen

Recommended video: Inferior view of the base of the skull [23:24]
Structures seen on the inferior view of the base of the skull.

The jugular foramen is a large, irregularly shaped opening between the temporal and occipital bones. Specifically, it is formed between the jugular fossa of the petrous part of the temporal bone and the jugular process of the occipital bone. It is found lateral to the foramen magnum and posterior to the carotid canal

It contains a notch, the intrajugular process, which divides the foramen into a larger posterolateral compartment and a smaller anteromedial compartment. It transmits the inferior petrosal sinusinternal jugular vein and three cranial nervesglossopharyngeal (CNIX), vagus (CNX) and the descending part of the spinal accessory (CNXI) nerve.

Terminology English: Jugular foramen
Latin: Foramen jugulare
Location Between the temporal and occipital bones
Function Transmits the inferior petrosal sinus, internal jugular vein and the glossopharyngeal (CNIX), vagus (CNX) and spinal accessory (CNXI) nerves

Learn more about the foramina of the skull with this study unit:

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