The foramen lacerum
for lacerated piercing
) is a triangular hole in the base of the skull
located at the base of the medial pterygoid plate
Transit through the foramen lacerum
Several anatomy texts incorrectly state that the internal carotid artery
passes through the foramen lacerum. However, in vivo
the foramen is actually occluded by cartilage
, preventing the artery from passing through. Rather, the internal carotid artery enters the base of the skull
through the carotid canal
, and travels superiorly to the cartilage occluding the foramen lacerum.
However, some nerves, arteries, and veins do pass through the cartilage plug of the foramen lacerum: the artery of pterygoid canal, the nerve of pterygoid canal, and some venous drainage.
- - "Internal view of skull."
- Tauber M, van Loveren H, Jallo G, Romano A, Keller J (1999). "The enigmatic foramen lacerum". Neurosurgery 44 (2): 386–91; discussion 391–3.
- Image at ucsd.edu