Mastoid foramen

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Mastoid foramen
Left temporal bone. Inner surface. (Mastoid foramen labeled at bottom left.)
Base of the skull. Upper surface. (Temporal bone is pink, and label for mastoid foramen is at left, second from the bottom.)
Latin foramen mastoideum
TA A02.1.06.008
FMA 53159
Anatomical terms of bone

The mastoid foramen is a hole in the posterior border of the temporal bone. It transmits a Mastoid emissary vein to the sigmoid sinus and a small branch of the occipital artery, the posterior meningeal artery to the dura mater.


The position and size of this foramen are very variable; it is not always present; sometimes it is situated in the occipital bone, or in the suture between the temporal and the occipital.

It transmits (1) an emissary vein connecting the sigmoid sinus with the posterior auricular vein and (2) a meningeal branch of the occipital artery

Additional images[edit]


This article incorporates text in the public domain from the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy (1918)

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