Pterygopalatine fossa

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In human anatomy, the pterygopalatine fossa is a fossa in the skull.

Contents

Blood vessels

The third (pterygopalatine) portion of internal maxillary artery passes vertically through the pterygopalatine fossa.

The third (pterygopalatine) portion of internal maxillary artery branch of the external carotid artery passes through the pterygopalatine fossa.[1]

Nerves

Components of several nerves pass through the pterygopalatine fossa.

Trigeminal nerve (cranial nerve V)

The maxillary branch of the trigeminal nerve gives rise to the zygomatic nerve within the pterygopalatine fossa.[2]

Fascial nerve (cranial nerve VII)

Sensory fibers of the facial nerve are contained in the nerve of the pteryoid canal that passes through the pterygoid canal into the pterygopalatine fossa.[3] The nerve of the pterygoid canal is formed by the union of the greater petrosal (formerly called the greater superficial petrosal nerve in earlier editions of Gray's[2][4]) nerve and the deep petrosal nerve. Most of the nerve of the pteryoid canal is sensory fibers from synapses in the geniculate ganglion on their way to lesser palatine nerves and the auditory tube. The greater petrosal nerve also contains autonomic nerves consisting of parasympathetic from the greater petrosal nerve and sympathetic nerves from the deep petrosal nerve.[4]

Autonomic nerves

The pterygopalatine ganglion (Meckel's gangion; sphenopalatine ganglion in earlier editions of Gray's) within the pterygopalatine fossa.

Both sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves of the autonomic nervous system pass through the pterygopalatine ganglion (Meckel's gangion; sphenopalatine ganglion in earlier editions of Gray's[2][4]) in the pterygopalatine fossa.

Parasympathetic nerves

The pterygopalatine ganglion (Meckel's gangion; sphenopalatine ganglion in earlier editions of Gray's[2][4]) is in the pterygopalatine fossa. This ganglion contains parasympathetic neurons that leave the brain in the facial nerve, become part of the greater petrosal (called the greater superficial petrosal nerve in earlier editions of Gray's[2][4]) branch of the facial nerve, and then synapse in the pterygopalatine ganglion. These fibers then travel backward along the main maxillary nerve before joining the lacrimal nerve.[5]

Sympathetic nerves

The pterygopalatine ganglion (Meckel's gangion; sphenopalatine ganglion in earlier editions of Gray's[2][4]) is in the pterygopalatine fossa.[2][4] This ganglion contains sympathetic neurons that originate in synapses in the superior cervical ganglia, then accompany the carotid artery into the skull, then accompany the greater petrosal branch of the facial nerve, and then pass through the pterygopalatine ganglion without synapsing on their way to the lacrimal gland.[3]

Openings

References

  1. Gray, Henry David (1918). “3a. 2. The External Carotid Artery”, Anatomy of the human body, 20th edition. Bartleby.com. ISBN 1-58734-102-6. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Gray, Henry David (1918). “5e. The Trigeminal Nerve”, Anatomy of the human body, 20th edition. Bartleby.com. ISBN 1-58734-102-6. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Goss, Charles Mayo; Gray, Henry David (1973). “The peripheral nervous system: the facial nerve”, Anatomy of the human body, 29th edition. Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger, 927. ISBN 0-8121-0377-7. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 Gray, Henry David (1918). “5g. The Facial Nerve”, Anatomy of the human body, 20th edition. Bartleby.com. ISBN 1-58734-102-6. 
  5. Goss, Charles Mayo; Gray, Henry David (1973). “The peripheral nervous system: the trigeminal nerve”, Anatomy of the human body, 29th edition. Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger, 917. ISBN 0-8121-0377-7. 

External links