Foramen
A natural opening. Although a foramen is usually through bone, it can be an opening through other types of tissue, as with the foramen ovale.
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An aperture or perforation through a bone or a membranous structure. SYN: trema (1). [L. an aperture, fr. foro, to pierce]
- foramina alveolaria corporis maxillae [TA] SYN: alveolar foramina of maxilla.
- alveolar foramina of maxilla [TA] openings of the posterior dental canals on the infratemporal surface of the maxilla. SYN: foramina alveolaria corporis maxillae [TA].
- anterior condyloid f. SYN: hypoglossal canal.
- anterior palatine f. SYN: greater palatine f..
- aortic f. SYN: aortic hiatus.
- apical dental f. SYN: apical f. of tooth.
- apical f. of tooth [TA] the opening at the apex of the root of a tooth that gives passage to the nerve and blood vessel s. SYN: f. apicis dentis [TA], apical dental f., root f..
- f. apicis dentis [TA] SYN: apical f. of tooth.
- arachnoid f. SYN: median aperture of fourth ventricle.
- f. of Arnold SYN: f. petrosum.
- blind f. of frontal bone SYN: f. cecum of frontal bone.
- blind f. of the tongue SYN: f. cecum of tongue.
- Bochdalek f. SYN: pleuroperitoneal hiatus.
- Botallo f. the orifice of communication between the two atria of the fetal heart. SEE ALSO: f. ovale.
- f. caecum medullae oblongatae [TA] a small triangular depression at the lower boundary of the pons between the pyramide that marks the upper limit of the anterior median fissure of the medulla oblongata. SYN: f. caecum posterius, Vicq d'Azyr f..
- carotid f. SYN: openings of carotid canal, under opening.
- cecal f. of frontal bone SYN: f. cecum of frontal bone.
- cecal f. of the tongue SYN: f. cecum of tongue.
- f. cecum of frontal bone [TA] blind or cecal f. of the frontal bone; the blind f. formed immediately anterior to the crista galli by a notch at the lower end of the frontal crest and its articulation with the ethmoid bone. It is insignificant postnatally, but gives passage to vessels during development. SYN: f. cecum ossis frontalis [TA], blind f. of frontal bone, cecal f. of frontal bone.
- f. cecum linguae [TA] SYN: f. cecum of tongue.
- f. cecum ossis frontalis [TA] SYN: f. cecum of frontal bone.
- f. caecum posterius SYN: f. caecum medullae oblongatae.
- f. cecum of tongue [TA] a median pit on the dorsum of the posterior part of the tongue, from which the limbs of a V-shaped furrow run forward and outward; it is the site of origin of the thyroid gland and subsequent thyroglossal duct in the embryo. SYN: f. cecum linguae [TA], blind f. of the tongue, cecal f. of the tongue, Morgagni f. (1).
- conjugate f. a f. formed by the notches of two bones in apposition.
- f. costotransversarium [TA] SYN: costotransverse f..
- costotransverse f. [TA] an opening between the neck of a rib and the transverse process of a vertebra, occupied by the costotransverse ligament. SYN: f. costotransversarium [TA].
- cribriform foramina [TA] openings in the cribriform plate of the ethmoid bone, transmitting approximately 20 bundles of nerve fibers that collectively constitute the olfactory nerve (CN I). SYN: foramina cribrosa [TA], olfactory f..
- foramina cribrosa [TA] SYN: cribriform foramina.
- f. diaphragmatis sellae SYN: f. of sellar diaphragm.
- epiploic f. omental f..
- f. epiploicum omental f..
- ethmoidal f. [TA] either of two foramina formed in the medial wall of the orbit by grooves on either edge of the ethmoidal notch of the frontal bone, and completed by similar grooves on the ethmoid bone : anterior ethmoidal f., located in an anterior position; posterior ethmoidal f. located in a posterior position. SYN: f. ethmoidale (anterior et posterior) [TA].
- f. ethmoidale (anterior et posterior) [TA] SYN: ethmoidal f..
- Ferrein f. SYN: hiatus for greater petrosal nerve.
- frontal f. an occasional small opening in the supraorbital margin of the frontal bone medial to the supraorbital f.. SEE ALSO: frontal notch. SYN: f. frontale.
- f. frontale SYN: frontal f..
- great f. SYN: f. magnum.
- greater palatine f. [TA] an opening in the posterolateral corner of the hard palate opposite the last molar tooth, marking the lower end of the pterygopalatine canal. SYN: f. palatinum majus [TA], anterior palatine f..
- Huschke f. an opening in the floor of the bony part of the external acoustic meatus near the tympanic membrane, normally closed in the adult.
- Hyrtl f. SYN: porus crotaphytico-buccinatorius.
- incisive f. [TA] one of several (usually four) openings of the incisive canals into the incisive fossa. SYN: f. incisivum [TA], incisor f., Stensen f..
- f. incisivum [TA] SYN: incisive f..
- incisor f. SYN: incisive f..
- inferior dental f. SYN: mandibular f..
- infraorbital f. [TA] the external opening of the infraorbital canal, on the anterior surface of the body of the maxilla. SYN: f. infraorbitale [TA].
- f. infraorbitale [TA] SYN: infraorbital f..
- interatrial f. primum 1. in the embryonic heart, the temporary opening between right and left atria situated between the lower margin of the septum primum and the atrioventricular canal cushions; 2. in an adult heart, the abnormal persistence of the so-named communication which is normal in young embryos. SYN: f. subseptale, ostium primum, primary interatrial f..
- interatrial f. secundum a secondary opening appearing in the upper part of the septum primum in the sixth week of embryonic life, just prior to the closure of the interatrial f. primum. SYN: ostium secundum, secondary interatrial f..
- f. intermesocolica transversa
- interventricular f. [TA] the short, often slitlike passage that, on both the left and right side, connects the third brain ventricle (of the diencephalon) with the lateral ventricles (of the cerebral hemispheres); the passage is bounded anteriomedially by the column of fornix and posterolaterally by the anterior pole and anterior tubercle of the dorsal thalamus. SYN: f. interventriculare [TA], Monro f., porta (2).
- f. interventriculare [TA] SYN: interventricular f..
- intervertebral f. [TA] one of a number of openings into the vertebral canal bounded by the pedicles of adjacent vertebrae above and below, the vertebral body (mostly of the superior vertebra) and intervertebral disk anteriorly, and the articular processes forming the zygapophysial joint posteriorly. SYN: f. intervertebrale [TA].
- f. intervertebrale [TA] SYN: intervertebral f..
- f. ischiadicum (anterior et posterior) SYN: sciatic f..
- f. ischiadicum majus et minor [TA] SYN: sciatic f..
- jugular f. [TA] a passage between the petrous portion of the temporal bone and the jugular process of the occipital, sometimes divided into two by the intrajugular processes; it contains the internal jugular vein, inferior petrosal sinus, the glossopharyngeal, vagus, and accessory nerves, and meningeal branches of the ascending pharyngeal and occipital arteries. SYN: f. jugulare [TA], f. lacerum posterius.
- f. jugulare [TA] SYN: jugular f..
- f. of Key-Retzius SYN: lateral aperture of fourth ventricle.
- lacerated f. SYN: f. lacerum.
- f. lacerum [TA] an irregular aperture, filled with cartilage (basilar cartilage) in the living, located between the apex of the petrous part of the temporal bone, the body of the sphenoid, and the basilar part of the occipital bones. Several structures pass along the margins of the f. in a nearly horizontal direction but no structures pass through vertically. SYN: f. lacerum medium, lacerated f., sphenotic f..
- f. lacerum anterius SYN: superior orbital fissure.
- f. lacerum medium SYN: f. lacerum.
- f. lacerum posterius SYN: jugular f..
- Lannelongue foramina SYN: openings of smallest cardiac veins, under opening.
- f. lateralis ventriculi quarti SYN: lateral aperture of fourth ventricle.
- lesser palatine foramina [TA] openings on the hard palate of palatine canals passing vertically through the tuberosity of the palatine bone and transmitting the smaller palatine nerves and vessels. SYN: foramina palatina minora [TA], posterior palatine foramina.
- f. of Luschka SYN: lateral aperture of fourth ventricle.
- f. of Magendie SYN: median aperture of fourth ventricle.
- f. magnum [TA] the large opening in the basal part of the occipital bone through which the spinal cord becomes continuous with the medulla oblongata. SYN: great f..
- malar f. SYN: zygomaticofacial f..
- f. mandibulae [TA] SYN: mandibular f..
- mandibular f. [TA] the opening into the mandibular canal on the medial surface of the ramus of the mandible giving passage to the inferior alveolar nerve, artery, and vein. SYN: f. mandibulae [TA], inferior dental f..
- mastoid f. [TA] an opening at the posterior portion of the mastoid process, transmitting the mastoid branch of the occipital artery to the dura and an emissary vein to the sigmoid sinus. SYN: f. mastoideum [TA].
- f. mastoideum [TA] SYN: mastoid f..
- mental f. [TA] the anterior opening of the mandibular canal on the body of the mandible lateral to and above the mental tubercle giving passage to the mental artery and nerve. SYN: f. mentale [TA], mental canal.
- f. mentale [TA] SYN: mental f..
- Monro f. SYN: interventricular f..
- Morgagni f. 1. SYN: f. cecum of tongue. 2. congenital defect in the fusion of sternal and costal elements of the diaphragmatic anlage that is the site of a retrosternal hernia.
- nasal f. vascular f. opening on the outer surface of each nasal bone.
- foramina nervosa [TA] the perforations along the tympanic lip of the spiral lamina giving passage to the cochlear nerves. SYN: habenulae perforatae, zona perforata.
- f. nutricium [TA] SYN: nutrient f..
- nutrient f. [TA] the external opening for the entrance of blood vessel s in a bone. SYN: f. nutricium [TA].
- obturator f. [TA] a large, oval or irregularly triangular aperture in the hip bone, the margins of which are formed by the pubis and the ischium; it is closed in the natural state by the obturator membrane, except for a small opening for the passage of the obturator vessels and nerve. SYN: f. obturatum [TA].
- f. obturatum [TA] SYN: obturator f..
- olfactory f. SYN: cribriform foramina.
- omental f. [TA] the passage, below and behind the portal hepatis, connecting the two sacs of the peritoneum; it is bounded anteriorly by the hepatoduodenal ligament and posteriorly by a peritoneal fold over the inferior vena cava. SYN: f. omentale [TA], epiploic f., f. epiploicum, aditus ad saccum peritonei minorem, f. of Winslow.
- f. omentale [TA] SYN: omental f..
- optic f. SYN: optic canal.
- f. opticum SYN: optic canal.
- oval f. [TA] SYN: f. ovale.
- f. ovale 1. [TA] a large oval opening in the base of the greater wing of the sphenoid bone, transmitting the mandibular division of the trigeminal merge and a small meningeal artery; 2. valvular incompetence of the f. ovale of the heart; a condition contrasting with probe patency of the f. ovale in that the valvula foraminis ovalis has abnormal perforations in it, or is of insufficient size to afford adequate valvular action at the f. ovale prenatally, or effect a complete closure postnatally. SYN: oval f. [TA].
- f. ovale cordis [TA] SYN: f. ovale of heart.
- f. ovale of heart [TA] in the fetal heart, the oval opening at the free margin of the septum secundum; the persistent part of the septum primum acts as a valve for this interatrial communication during fetal life and normally postnatally becomes fused to the septum secundum to close it. SYN: f. ovale cordis, oval f. of heart.
- oval f. of heart SYN: f. ovale of heart.
- foramina palatina minora [TA] SYN: lesser palatine foramina.
- f. palatinum majus [TA] SYN: greater palatine f..
- foramina papillaria renis [TA] SYN: openings of papillary ducts, under opening.
- papillary foramina of kidney SYN: openings of papillary ducts, under opening.
- parietal f. [TA] an inconstant f. in the parietal bone occasionally found bilaterally near the sagittal margin posteriorly; when present it transmits an emissary vein to the superior sagittal sinus. SYN: f. parietale [TA].
- f. parietale [TA] SYN: parietal f..
- petrosal f. SYN: f. petrosum.
- f. petrosum [TA] an occasional opening in the greater wing of the sphenoid bone, between the f. spinosum and f. ovale, which transmits the lesser petrosal nerve. SYN: canaliculus innominatus, f. of Arnold, petrosal f..
- posterior condyloid f. SYN: condylar canal.
- posterior palatine foramina SYN: lesser palatine foramina.
- postglenoid f. a small f. that is sometimes present in the temporal bone immediately in front of the external acoustic meatus.
- primary interatrial f. SYN: interatrial f. primum.
- f. processus transversi SYN: transverse f..
- f. quadratum SYN: caval opening of diaphragm.
- f. recessus superioris bursae omentalis SYN: f. of superior recess of omental bursa.
- f. of Retzius SYN: lateral aperture of fourth ventricle.
- root f. SYN: apical f. of tooth.
- f. rotundum [TA] an opening in the base of the greater wing of the sphenoid bone, transmitting the maxillary nerve. SYN: round f..
- round f. SYN: f. rotundum.
- sacral foramina [TA] the openings between the fused sacral vertebrae transmitting the sacral nerves. The anterior sacral foramina transmit anterior (ventral) primary rami of the sacral nerves. The posterior sacral foramina give passage to posterior (dorsal) primary rami of the sacral nerves. The terms “anterior” and “posterior” are awkward with regard to the S1/S2 foramina especially since in the anatomic position the formina lie vertically, superior and inferior, to each other. SYN: f. sacrale, foramina sacralia anterior et posterior.
- f. sacrale SYN: sacral foramina.
- foramina sacralia anterior et posterior SYN: sacral foramina.
- Scarpa foramina two openings in the line of the intermaxillary suture; the anterior f. transmits the left nasopalatine nerve, the posterior the right.
- sciatic f. [TA] either of two foramina formed by the sacrospinous and sacrotuberous ligaments crossing the sciatic notches of the hip bone : greater sciatic f. (f. ischiadicum majus) and lesser sciatic f. (f. ischiadicum minus). SYN: f. ischiadicum majus et minor [TA], f. ischiadicum (anterior et posterior).
- secondary interatrial f. SYN: interatrial f. secundum.
- f. of sellar diaphragm a hole in the center of the diaphragm of the sella turcica giving passage to the infundibulum of the hypothalamus. SYN: f. diaphragmatis sellae.
- singular f. SYN: f. singulare.
- f. singulare [TA] a f. in the internal acoustic meatus, posterior to the cochlear area, that transmits the nerves to the ampulla of the posterior semicircular duct. SYN: singular f..
- foramina of the smallest veins of heart SYN: openings of smallest cardiac veins, under opening.
- sphenoidal emissary f. [TA] a minute inconstant f. in the greater wing of the sphenoid bone, anterior and medial to the f. ovale, transmitting a small emissary vein from the cavernous sinus. SYN: f. venosum [TA], venous f., Vesalius f..
- sphenopalatine f. [TA] the f. formed from the sphenopalatine notch of the palatine bone in articulation with the sphenoid bone; it transmits the sphenopalatine artery and accompanying nerves. SYN: f. sphenopalatinum [TA].
- f. sphenopalatinum [TA] SYN: sphenopalatine f..
- sphenotic f. SYN: f. lacerum.
- f. spinosum [TA] an opening in the base of the greater wing of the sphenoid bone, anterior to the spine of the sphenoid, transmitting the middle meningeal artery, and the meningeal branch (nervus spinosum) of the mandibular nerve.
- Stensen f. SYN: incisive f..
- stylomastoid f. [TA] the distal or external opening of the facial canal on the inferior surface of the petrous portion of the temporal bone, between the styloid and mastoid processes; it transmits the facial nerve and stylomastoid artery. SYN: f. stylomastoideum [TA].
- f. stylomastoideum [TA] SYN: stylomastoid f..
- f. subseptale SYN: interatrial f. primum.
- f. of superior recess of omental bursa a f. produced by two folds of peritoneum, that covering the common/proper hepatic artery on the right and that covering the left gastric artery on the left, which encroach upon and constrict the omental bursa; it forms a communication between the superior recess of the lesser sac which lies above it and the remainder of the omental bursa. SYN: f. recessus superioris bursae omentalis.
- supraorbital f. [TA] a f. in the supraorbital margin of the frontal bone at the junction of the medial and intermediate thirds. SYN: f. supraorbitale [TA].
- f. supraorbitale [TA] SYN: supraorbital f.. SEE ALSO: supraorbital notch.
- thebesian foramina SYN: openings of smallest cardiac veins, under opening.
- thyroid f. [TA] an opening occasionally existing in one or both of the plates of the thyroid cartilage. SYN: f. thyroideum [TA].
- f. thyroideum [TA] SYN: thyroid f..
- f. transversarium [TA] SYN: transverse f..
- transverse f. f. processus transversus. SYN: f. transversarium [TA], f. of transverse process, f. processus transversi, f. vertebroarteriale, vertebroarterial f..
- f. of transverse process SYN: transverse f..
- f. of vena cava SYN: caval opening of diaphragm.
- vena caval f. SYN: caval opening of diaphragm.
- f. venae cavae SYN: caval opening of diaphragm.
- foramina of the venae minimae SYN: openings of smallest cardiac veins, under opening.
- foramina venarum minimarum cordis SYN: openings of smallest cardiac veins, under opening.
- f. venosum [TA] SYN: sphenoidal emissary f..
- venous f. SYN: sphenoidal emissary f..
- vertebral f. [TA] the f. formed by the union of the vertebral arch with the body; in the articulated vertebral column, the vertebral f. collectively form the vertebral column. SYN: f. vertebrale [TA].
- f. vertebrale [TA] SYN: vertebral f..
- f. vertebroarteriale SYN: transverse f..
- Vesalius f. SYN: sphenoidal emissary f..
- Vicq d'Azyr f. SYN: f. caecum medullae oblongatae.
- Vieussens foramina SYN: openings of smallest cardiac veins, under opening.
- Weitbrecht f. an opening in the articular capsule of the shoulder joint, communicating with the subtendinous bursa of the subscapularis muscle.
- f. of Winslow SYN: omental f..
- zygomaticofacial f. [TA] the opening on the lateral surface of the zygomatic bone below the orbital margin that transmits the zygomaticofacial nerve. SYN: f. zygomaticofaciale [TA], malar f..
- f. zygomaticofaciale [TA] SYN: zygomaticofacial f..
- zygomatico- orbital f. [TA] the common opening on the orbital surface of the zygomatic bone of the canals transmitting the zygomaticofacial and zygomaticotemporal nerves; sometimes each of these canals has a separate opening on the orbital surface. SYN: f. zygomatico- orbitale [TA].
- zygomaticotemporal f. [TA] the opening, on the temporal surface of the zygomatic bone, of the canal that gives passage to the zygomaticotemporal nerve. SYN: f. zygomaticotemporale [TA].
- f. zygomaticotemporale [TA] SYN: zygomaticotemporal f..

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fo·ra·men fə-'rā-mən n, pl fo·ram·i·na -'ram-ə-nə or fo·ra·mens -'rā-mənz a small opening, perforation, or orifice: FENESTRA (1)
fo·ram·i·nal fə-'ram-ən-əl adj

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n. (pl. foramina)
an opening or hole, particularly in a bone. The apical foramen is the small opening at the apex of a tooth. The foramen magnum is a large hole in the occipital bone through which the spinal cord passes. The foramen ovale is the opening between the two atria of the fetal heart, which allows blood to flow from the right to the left side of the heart by displacing a membranous valve.

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fo·ra·men (fo-raґmən) pl. foraґmina [L.] a natural opening or passage, especially one into or through a bone.

Descriptions of anatomic structures are given on TA terms, and include anglicized names of specific foramina.


Medical dictionary. 2011.

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