Jugular foramen

The jugular foramen is a large foramen (opening) in the base of the skull, located behind the carotid canal. It is formed in front by the petrous portion of the temporal bone, and behind by the occipital bone; it is generally larger on the right than on the left side.

Jugular foramen
Base of skull. Inferior surface. (label for jugular foramen is at right, third from the bottom)
LatinForamen jugulare
Anatomical terminology


Cranial nerves IX (glossopharyngeal), X (vagus) and XI (accessory) and the inferior petrosal sinus and sigmoid sinus vein pass through the jugular foramen.

The jugular foramen may be subdivided into three compartments, each with their own contents.

An alternative imaging based subclassification exists, delineated by the jugular spine which is a bony ridge partially separating the jugular foramen into two parts:

Clinical significance

Obstruction can result in jugular foramen syndrome.[1][2]

Additional images

See also


This article incorporates text in the public domain from page 181 of the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy (1918)

  1. "Parapharyngeal Masses: Their Diagnosis and Management". Archived from the original on 2008-09-07.
  2. Erol FS, Kaplan M, Kavakli A, Ozveren MF (June 2005). "Jugular foramen syndrome caused by choleastatoma". Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 107 (4): 342–6. doi:10.1016/j.clineuro.2004.08.006. PMID 15885397.
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