Anterior Cranial Fossa : Mnemonic


  1. Anterior and Lateral: Frontal bone (inner surface)
  2. Posterior:
    • Medial: Sphenoid (limbus)
    • Lateral: Sphenoid (lesser wing)
  3. Floor: Frontal bone, Ethmoid bone, Sphenoid bone (lesser wing and anterior aspect of body)
Anterior cranial fossa
Polygon data were generated by Database Center for Life Science (DBCLS), CC BY-SA 2.1 JP, via Wikimedia Commons


Mnemonic: Remember 6 ‘C’

1. Frontal Crest: Site of attachment of falx cerebri

2. Foramen Cecum (Between frontal crest and crista galli): Site of communication between the draining veins of nasal cavity and the superior sagittal sinus

3. Crista galli: Site of attachment for falx cerebri

4. Cribiform plate: Supports Olfactory bulb and Olfactory tract runs through it

  • 2 foramina lateral to the olfactory bulb:
    • Anterior ethmoidal foramen: transmits anterior ethmoidal artery, nerve and vein
    • Posterior ethmoidal foramen: transmits posterior ethmoidal artery, nerve and vein

5. Anterior Clinoid process (formed by lesser wing of sphenoid): Important landmark for the optic nerve and supracavernous Internal Carotid Artery (ICA)

6. Chiasmatic sulcus: for optic chiasm

Clinical considerations

Fractures of the anterior cranial fossa:

  1. Bleeding: from anterior meningeal vessels when dura is torn
  2. Anosmia: injury to olfactory nerve fibers which run through the cribiform plate
  3. CSF rhinorrhea: tear in meningeal coverings leading to leakage of CSF into nasal cavity

Ophthalmic artery:

  • Branch of supraclinoid portion of ICA
  • Origin is medial to anterior clinoid process and below the optic nerve
  • At the level of optic canal, the artery has passed to a position lateral to the nerve
  • This anatomical fact must be kept in mind during the opening of the falciform ligament to avoid an iatrogenic lesion of the artery

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