Neuroanatomical study| Volume 62, P212-215, April 2019

Visualization of the supraorbital notch/foramen using magnetic resonance imaging

Published:January 14, 2019DOI:


      • Regions involving the supraorbital notch/foramen has not been explored with MRI.
      • These and relevant vascular structures were examined using MRI.
      • Vascular segment in the supraorbital notch/foramen is reliably located using MRI.
      • The supraorbital rim may function as intra- to extracranial anastomotic channel.


      The supraorbital notch/foramen involving the segment of the supraorbital nerve (SON) and the supraorbital artery (SOA) has little been explored with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Therefore, we explored these structures using MRI. A total of 90 patients underwent thin-sliced contrast MRI. In addition, eight sides of the orbits were dissected in four cadaveric heads. Cadaver dissections showed that the SOA coursed consistently beneath and in close proximity to the SON and reached the supraorbital notch/foramen. On axial MRI images, the supraorbital notch/foramen was identified in 98% on the right side and in 99% on the left. The distance from the midline to the midpoint of the supraorbital notch/foramen and depth from the skin surface to the supraorbital foramen/exit were measured. The median distance was 22.6 ± 3.08 mm on the right side and 22.8 ± 3.07 mm on the left, whereas the depth was 7.7 ± 1.39 mm on the right and 7.7 ± 1.43 mm on the left. Eighty percent of the sagittal images showed well-developed diploic veins in the supraorbital rim. Of these, 8.3% had anastomotic channels with the subcutaneous veins through the anterior wall of the supraorbital rim, 11.8% through the inferior wall, and 9% through the SOF. The SON and SOA segments passing through the supraorbital exit can be reliably located using contrast MRI. The supraorbital rim may function as the intracranial to extracranial anastomotic channel.


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