Document Type : Research Article
Background: Foramen Ovale (FO) is the most important constant foramen of greater wing of sphenoid in the middle cranial fossa. It opens into infratemporal fossa and gives passage to mandibular nerve, accessory meningeal Artery, lesser petrosal nerve, emissary veins. It is usually oval in shape but its shape shows variations when compared to rest of the foramina in the skull. It is of great significance to neurosurgeons as transcranial approach to skull base is possible via it in case of trigeminal neuralgia.
Methods: The present study was an observational study, conducted on 50 dry human skulls (100 foramen ovale) in the department of anatomy, Osmania Medical College, Hyderabad, Telangana. India. The study has taken prior approval from Institutional Ethical Committee. This study included fully ossified, dried, cleaned skulls of unknown sex, Broken & deformed skulls were excluded from the study
Results: In the present study the mean anterio-posterior diameter (APD) of FO was 6.55±1.4mm, 6.52±1.3mm on right side and left side respectively. The mean transverse diameter (TD) of FO was 4.19±1.1mm and 4.13±1.4mm on right side and left side respectively. The most common shape was oval in 65%, followed by almond shape in 14%, D-shape in 11%, longitudinal/slit like in 4%, irregular in 4% of foramen ovale and confluence of FO with spinosum was seen in 2% of foramen ovale.
Conclusion: The detailed anatomical knowledge of FO is of great importance to the clinicians in diagnosis & management of various neuro surgical procedures and micro vascular approaches. Variations in the shapes of the FO are found due to developmental reasons, which may seriously hamper clinical & diagnostic procedures