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Cranium 4.jpg
Latin occiput cranii
occipital artery
occipital vein
occipital lymph nodes
TA A01.1.00.003
FMA 49187
Anatomical terminology

The occiput is the anatomical term for the posterior (back) portion of the head or skull. In insects, the occiput is the posterior part of the head capsule.

The word occipital pertains to the occiput.[1] Etymology:occipital : from Latin occiput "back of the skull," from ob "against, behind" + caput "head" . distinguished from sinciput (anterior part of the skull).[2]

Clinical significance[edit]

Trauma to the occiput can cause a basilar skull fracture.

Prominent occiput is a feature of Trisomy 18 (Edward's Syndrome), along with small jaw, low-set ears, and mental retardation. It is also a feature of Trisomy 9 and Beckwith–Wiedemann syndrome.

Identification of the location of the fetal occiput is important in obstetrics.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "occipital" A Dictionary of Zoology. Ed. Michael Allaby. Oxford University Press 2009
  2. ^ http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=+occiput+&searchmode=none