Skull base embryology: A multidisciplinary review

Antonio Di Ieva*, Emiliano Bruner, Thomas Haider, Luigi F. Rodella, John M. Lee, Michael D. Cusimano, Manfred Tschabitscher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: The skull base represents a central and complex bone structure of the skull and forms the floor of the cranial cavity on which the brain lies. Anatomical knowledge of this particular region is important for understanding several pathologic conditions as well as for planning surgical procedures. Embryology of the cranial base is of great interest due to its pronounced impact on the development of adjacent regions including the brain, neck, and craniofacial skeleton. Materials and methods: Information from human and comparative anatomy, anthropology, embryology, surgery, and computed modelling was integrated to provide a perspective to interpret skull base formation and variability within the cranial functional and structural system. Results and conclusions: The skull base undergoes an elaborate sequence of development stages and represents a key player in skull, face and brain development. Furthering our holistic understanding of the embryology of the skull base promises to expand our knowledge and enhance our ability to treat associated anomalies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)991-1000
Number of pages10
JournalChild's Nervous System
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Anatomy
  • Comparative anatomy
  • Embryology
  • Encephalocele
  • Functional craniology
  • Pharyngeal arches
  • Skull base


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