[Autopsy study for maxillary nerve and its artery supply]

Yuan-xin Zhang, Kui-qi Zhang, Si-jia Qin, Fu Wang
Zhonghua Er Bi Yan Hou Tou Jing Wai Ke za Zhi, Chinese Journal of Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery 2012, 47 (10): 836-40

OBJECTIVE: To observe the travel, divisions, and the lengths, diameters, branches, artery supplies of the main segments of maxillary nerve.

METHODS: Fifty formalin-preserved adult half-head specimens with intravascular injection of red color emulsion were used for the gross and microanatomical studies of maxillary nerve. The lengths, diameters, branches and artery supplies of four main segments of maxillary nerve were observed. SPSS 11.5 software was used to analyze the data.

RESULTS: The length and diameter of cranial middle fossa segment of maxillary nerve were (10.70 ± 1.31) mm and (4.01 ± 0.52) mm respectively, which was supplied by inferior-lateral cavernous sinus artery. The length and diameter of pterygopalatine fossa segment were (16.21 ± 1.80) mm and (3.27 ± 0.62) mm respectively, in which one zygomatic branch, one to three posterior superior alveolar nerves, two ganglion branches and tuberal descending branches; were given off, and the segment was supplied by foramen rotundum artery. The length and diameter of infraorbital segment were (25.73 ± 2.03) mm and (3.30 ± 0.52) mm and it gave off middle superior alveolar nerve (64%) and anterior superior alveolar nerve and was supplied by infraorbital artery. Facial segment gave off superior labial branches, internal and external nasal branches, inferior palpebral branches, buccal branch and zygomatic branch and these branches were supplied by infraorbital artery and superior labial and angular artery originating from facial artery.

CONCLUSIONS: Understanding of travel and artery supply of maxillary nerve is helpful to regional anaesthesia and surgery for maxillary nerve. Foramen rotundum, sphenopalatine foramen and infraorbital nerve are important marks for endoscopic surgery in pterygopalatine fossa.

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