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foramen lacerum


Definition: an irregular aperture, filled with basilar cartilage in the living, located between the apex of the petrous part of the temporal bone, the body of the sphenoid, and the basilar part of the occipital bones. Several structures (deep and greater petrosal nerves, vessels of carotid canal) pass along the margins of the foramen in a nearly horizontal direction but no structures pass through vertically.

Synonym(s): foramen lacerum medium, lacerated foramen, sphenotic foramen

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.