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Canalis Basilaris Medianus
Jeffrey S. Ross, MD
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KEY FACTS

  • Terminology

    • Top Differential Diagnoses

      • Clinical Issues

        TERMINOLOGY

        • Abbreviations

          • Canalis basilaris medianus (CBM)
        • Synonyms

          • Various terms for incomplete forms, including fossa navicularis, fossa navicularis magna (FNM), pharyngeal fossa, foveola pharyngica
        • Definitions

          • Uncommon variant(s) of basiocciput formation
          • Canalis basilaris medianus
            • First described by Grubber in 1880
            • Found in 1-2% of dried skull specimens
            • Consists of well-defined channel on intracranial surface of basiocciput in midline
              • 3 varieties have been described: Superior, inferior, and bifurcated
              • 3 incomplete forms have also been described
                • Long channel in basiocciput and posterior sphenoid
                • Superior basiocciput recess (dorsal aspect of clivus)
                • Inferior basiocciput recess or foveola pharyngica (fossa navicularis magna)
          • Fossa navicularis magna
            • Notch-like defect in ventral aspect of basiocciput in midline
            • Not through-and-through defect of bone
            • Usually filled with lymphoid tissue

        IMAGING

        • General Features

          • CT Findings

            • MR Findings

              DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS

                PATHOLOGY

                • General Features

                  • Staging, Grading, & Classification

                    CLINICAL ISSUES

                    • Presentation

                      Selected References

                      1. Prabhu SP et al: Clival osteomyelitis resulting from spread of infection through the fossa navicularis magna in a child. Pediatr Radiol. 39(9):995-8, 2009
                      2. Cankal F et al: Fossa navicularis: anatomic variation at the skull base. Clin Anat. 17(2):118-22, 2004
                      3. Schick B et al: Two occult skull base malformations causing recurrent meningitis in a child: a case report. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 260(9):518-21, 2003
                      4. Jacquemin C et al: Canalis basilaris medianus: MRI. Neuroradiology. 42(2):121-3, 2000
                      5. Beltramello A et al: Fossa navicularis magna. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 19(9):1796-8, 1998
                      6. Currarino G: Canalis basilaris medianus and related defects of the basiocciput. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 9(1):208-11, 1988
                      Related Anatomy
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                      Related Differential Diagnoses
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                      References
                      Tables

                      Tables

                      KEY FACTS

                      • Terminology

                        • Top Differential Diagnoses

                          • Clinical Issues

                            TERMINOLOGY

                            • Abbreviations

                              • Canalis basilaris medianus (CBM)
                            • Synonyms

                              • Various terms for incomplete forms, including fossa navicularis, fossa navicularis magna (FNM), pharyngeal fossa, foveola pharyngica
                            • Definitions

                              • Uncommon variant(s) of basiocciput formation
                              • Canalis basilaris medianus
                                • First described by Grubber in 1880
                                • Found in 1-2% of dried skull specimens
                                • Consists of well-defined channel on intracranial surface of basiocciput in midline
                                  • 3 varieties have been described: Superior, inferior, and bifurcated
                                  • 3 incomplete forms have also been described
                                    • Long channel in basiocciput and posterior sphenoid
                                    • Superior basiocciput recess (dorsal aspect of clivus)
                                    • Inferior basiocciput recess or foveola pharyngica (fossa navicularis magna)
                              • Fossa navicularis magna
                                • Notch-like defect in ventral aspect of basiocciput in midline
                                • Not through-and-through defect of bone
                                • Usually filled with lymphoid tissue

                            IMAGING

                            • General Features

                              • CT Findings

                                • MR Findings

                                  DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS

                                    PATHOLOGY

                                    • General Features

                                      • Staging, Grading, & Classification

                                        CLINICAL ISSUES

                                        • Presentation

                                          Selected References

                                          1. Prabhu SP et al: Clival osteomyelitis resulting from spread of infection through the fossa navicularis magna in a child. Pediatr Radiol. 39(9):995-8, 2009
                                          2. Cankal F et al: Fossa navicularis: anatomic variation at the skull base. Clin Anat. 17(2):118-22, 2004
                                          3. Schick B et al: Two occult skull base malformations causing recurrent meningitis in a child: a case report. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 260(9):518-21, 2003
                                          4. Jacquemin C et al: Canalis basilaris medianus: MRI. Neuroradiology. 42(2):121-3, 2000
                                          5. Beltramello A et al: Fossa navicularis magna. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 19(9):1796-8, 1998
                                          6. Currarino G: Canalis basilaris medianus and related defects of the basiocciput. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 9(1):208-11, 1988