jugular foramen

base of skull, showing jugular foramen

Base of skull, showing jugular foramen.

The jugular foramen is an opening in the base of the skull formed by a deep notch in the petrous portion of the temporal bone together with a shallower notch on the occipital bone.


The jugular foramen allows passage for the following structures: the inferior petrosal sinus, the ninth, tenth, and eleventh cranial nerves, and the sigmoid sinus. The inferior petrosal sinus descends in the groove on the lower border of the petrous part of the temporal bone, to reach the foramen. The sigmoid sinus turns down through the foramen to become the internal jugular vein.