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Midsagittal skull

Learning objectives

After completing this study unit you will be able to:

  1. Understand the relationships between the different bones of the skull and how they form the neurocranium and viscerocranium
  2. Learn about the sutures, fissures, and other bony landmarks of the skull that are important, yet difficult to see from other perspectives

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The midsagittal section of the skull enables us to understand the structure of the two main parts of the skull:

  • Neurocranium, or the brain case, which houses the brain
  • Viscerocranium, which houses the structures of the face, oral, nasal, and orbital cavities

The bones of the skull not only form and enclose these spaces, but they also feature numerous passageways for neurovascular structures to pass in and out of the cranial cavity. 

This video tutorial will describe the bones seen on a midsagittal section of the skull, the joints or sutures formed between them, as well as the major bony landmarks visible from this perspective.

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Key points about the midsagittal skull
Bones Neurocranium: Frontal bone, ethmoid bone, sphenoid bone, parietal bone, temporal bone, occipital bone
Nasal bone, inferior nasal concha, lacrimal bone, maxilla, palatine bone, vomer
Coronal suture, lambdoid suture, squamous suture, occipitomastoid suture, sphenofrontal suture
Frontal bone Frontal sinus
Ethmoid bone Crista galli, cribriform plate, perpendicular plate, superior nasal concha, middle nasal concha
Sphenoid bone Greater wing, lesser wing, anterior clinoid process, optic canal, sella turcica, sphenoidal sinus, medial pterygoid plate, lateral pterygoid plate, pterygoid hamulus
Maxilla Anterior nasal spine, incisive canal, palatine process, alveolar process
Palatine bone Perpendicular plate, horizontal plate
Parietal bone Groove for middle meningeal artery
Temporal bone Squamous part, petrous part, internal acoustic meatus, groove for superior petrosal sinus, external opening of vestibular aqueduct, groove for sigmoid sinus
Occipital bone Basilar part, groove for transverse sinus, external occipital protuberance (inion), jugular foramen, groove for inferior petrosal sinus, hypoglossal canal, foramen magnum, occipital condyle

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