- To illustrate the detailed imaging anatomy of the jugular foramen (JF) and its content. - To illustrate the spectrum of disease processes that can involve the JF and their imaging features. - To review the imaging modalities and the indispensable MRI sequences for positive and differential diagnosis.
The jugular foramen is a complex crossroad of neurovascular structures in the skull base.
Anatomical variation in the course of the nerves and vessels adds to the complexity of this area.
A variety of lesions may occur in the jugular foramen,
arising from the structures normally found within the jugular foramen or from contiguous structures. Although a wide spectrum of disease processes may involve the jugular foramen,
careful analysis of the imaging characteristics and correlation of these...
Findings and procedure details
I- Normal anatomy: The jugular foramen,
sometimes referred to as the posterior foramen lacerum,is a depression on the medial and inferior surface of the petrous pyramid,
formed by the temporal and occipital bones.
The jugular foramen coursesanteriorly and laterally as it exits the skull base and consists of a smaller anteromedialportion (pars nervosa) and a larger posterolateral portion (pars vascularis) that areseparated by a complete or incomplete fibrous or bony septum.
The jugular foramen exhibits complex anatomical relationships and contains significant vessel and neural structures.
Lesions arising in the region of the jugular foramen may be classified as either intrinsic or extrinsic.
Imaging techniques offer valuable information about these lesions and helps to make a precise diagnosis.
The correct diagnosis helps to avoid surgical pitfalls and optimizes management planning.
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