Pterygopalatine Fossa Anatomy - pediagenosis
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Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Pterygopalatine Fossa Anatomy

Pterygopalatine Fossa Anatomy

Pterygopalatine Fossa Anatomy

1. Nasopalatine nerve (septal branch)

2. Pterygoid canal (behind ganglionic branches connecting maxillary nerve [CN V2] and pterygopalatine ganglion)

3. Maxillary nerve (CN V2)

4. Pterygopalatine ganglion

5. Infra-orbital nerve

6. Posterior superior alveolar nerve

7. Greater and lesser palatine nerves

8. Lesser and greater palatine arteries

9. Anterior and middle superior alveolar arteries

10. Superficial temporal artery

11. Maxillary artery

12. Descending palatine artery

13. Infra-orbital artery

14. Sphenopalatine artery

Comment: Nerves are shown on 1 side and arteries on the other. This region is largely supplied by branches of the maxillary nerve (V2) and by arterial branches of the maxillary artery from the external carotid. The maxillary teeth and gums are supplied by the posterior, middle, and anterior superior alveolar neurovascular bundles.

Clinical: Midface fractures (Le Fort fractures) and/or blowout fractures of the orbital floor may damage the branches of the maxillary nerve, affecting not only sensory modalities related to the distribution of the nerve but also the parasympathetic postganglionic secretomotor fibers that join the branches of this nerve after they leave the pterygopalatine ganglion (site of the postganglionic parasympathetic neurons).

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