Asterion (anatomy)

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For other uses, see Asterion (disambiguation).
Asterion
Asterion.PNG
Side view of head, showing surface relations of bones. (Asterion visible at center right.)
Latin Asterion
Gray's p.183
TA A02.1.00.020
FMA FMA:76625
Anatomical terminology

The asterion is the point on the skull corresponding to the posterior end of the parietomastoid suture.

Location[edit]

In human anatomy, the asterion is a visible, so-called craniometric, point on the exposed skull, just behind the ear, where three cranial sutures meet:

or where three cranial bones meet:

In the adult, it lies 4 cm behind and 12 mm above the center of the entrance to the ear canal.

Clinical significance[edit]

Neurosurgeons use this point to orient themselves, in order to plan safe entry into the skull for some operations.

Etymology[edit]

The asterion receives its name from the Greek ἀστέριον (astērion), meaning "star" or "starry".

The Mercedes point is an alternative term for the asterion, for its resemblance to the Mercedes-Benz logo.