Surgical and Radiologic Anatomy

, Volume 41, Issue 7, pp 801–808 | Cite as

New detailed description of the anterior part of the cribriform plate using anatomic specimens and computed tomography

  • Clément EscalardEmail author
  • Lise-Marie Roussel
  • Michèle Hamon
  • Apolline Kazemi
  • Vincent Patron
  • Martin Hitier
Original Article



Ethmoidal slit (ES) and cribroethmoidal foramen (CF) have been poorly studied, without any radiological description. They may ease cribriform plate’s diseases. The objective was to describe the frequency, size, and computed tomography (CT) appearance of these foramina.


A two-part anatomoradiological study was performed: first on dry skulls using a surgical microscope and CT, second on patients CT scans. For each, foramina were searched for, described, and measured when possible.


Thirteen dry macerated skulls were studied. The orbitomeatal plane was relevant for studying ES. With microscope, ES and CF were identified in, respectively, 92% and 100% of cases. Using CT, all ES and CF were visible, with a mean length and width of, respectively, 3.9 ± 1.7 mm and 0.9 ± 0.3 mm for ES and 1.6 ± 1 mm and 0.9 ± 0.3 mm for CF. CT scans from 153 patients were reviewed. ES and CF were identified in, respectively, 80% and 91% of cases, with a mean length and width of, respectively, 3.9 ± 0.8 mm and 0.8 ± 0.2 mm for ES.


Large-sized ES was found frequently, and were clearly visible in patients CT scans. CF was markedly smaller, but seen in most patient scans. ES and CF could be areas of least resistance in the anterior part of the cribriform plate. CT might be helpful in understanding their pathological implications.


Cribriform plate Ethmoid bone Computed tomography Skull base Anatomy 



Cribroethmoidal foramen


Cerebrospinal fluid


Computed tomography


Ethmoidal slit


Hounsfield units


Intraclass correlation coefficient








Author contributions

CE: protocol development, data collection and management, data analysis, and manuscript writing. L-MR: protocol development and data collection. MH: protocol development and manuscript editing. AK: protocol development. VP: protocol development and manuscript editing. MH: protocol development and manuscript editing.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

276_2019_2220_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1.7 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 1779 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of RadiologyCentre Hospitalier Universitaire de CaenCaenFrance
  2. 2.Department of OtorhinolaryngologyCentre Hospitalier Universitaire de CaenCaenFrance
  3. 3.Department of RadiologyCentre Hospitalier Universitaire de LilleLilleFrance
  4. 4.Department of AnatomyUNICAENCaenFrance
  5. 5.INSERM U 1075 COMETECaenFrance

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