Comprehensive review of the mastoid foramen

Neurosurg Rev. 2021 Jun;44(3):1255-1258. doi: 10.1007/s10143-020-01329-9. Epub 2020 Jun 7.


Anatomical variations of the mastoid foramen have been observed to vary in a number of qualities including size, number, and location. These variants have the potential to become problematic during surgical approaches to the posterior cranial fossa and mastoid part of the temporal bone, and should thus be appreciated by the surgeon. Herein, we discuss the mastoid foramen in detail including issues with such foramina that should be known to the neurosurgeon.

Keywords: Anatomical variations; Literature review; Mastoid emissary vein; Mastoid foramen; Neurosurgery; Skull base.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cranial Fossa, Posterior / abnormalities
  • Cranial Fossa, Posterior / anatomy & histology
  • Cranial Fossa, Posterior / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mastoid / abnormalities
  • Mastoid / anatomy & histology*
  • Mastoid / surgery*
  • Neurosurgeons* / standards