The jugular foramen based on its morphometric analysis is rather a canal
|Year of publication
|Background: The jugular foramen (JF) is split by a fibrous bridge into the anteromedial portion conveying the glossopharyngeal (IX) nerve and the posterolateral portion carrying the vagus (X) and accessory (XI) nerves as well as the internal jugular vein and posterior meningeal artery. Jugular foramen syndrome (JFS) is characterized by neurological symptoms of the passing cranial nerves associated with some localized etiology at the JF. Whether the morphology of the JF plays a role in the JFS is not well elaborated. Methods: The JF was bilaterally measured by a digital caliper in 302 dry skulls with an opened cranial cavity. The length of JF between the external plane and the internal plane of the JF (Ext-Int), and the depth of JF between the external plane of the JF and the jugular fossa (Ext-Fossa) were measured. The shape of the JF was assessed externally and internally: the maximum length (L) in an anteroposterior dimension versus the maximum width (W) in a mediolateral dimension. Results: The JF length (Ext-Int) was 11.55 ± 2.89 mm and the JF depth (Ext-Fossa) was 11.31 ± 3.42 mm. The external aperture of the JF was found to be slightly larger than the internal one. The shapes of the JF showed disparity with oval being the dominate presentation. Conclusions: The JF can be thought of as a canal between its external aperture at the skull base and its internal aperture in the posterior cranial fossa and varies in alignment from a straight to a sloped line in direction. The JF fossa represents an internal interval of the JF canal. The presence of a complete or incomplete bridge could mean a calcified fibrous bridge or could mean an actual osteofibrous morphological variation.