Location of Pterygopalatine Fossa and its Relationships to the Structures in Sellar Region

Ye Cheng, Haiyang Xu, Yong Chen, Songbai Xu, Hongquan Yu, Siwen Zhang, Yan Feng, Gang Zhao
Journal of Craniofacial Surgery 2015, 26 (6): 1979-82

PURPOSE: The aim of this study is to locate pterygopalatine fossa (PPF) and the opening of its communicating canals by accessing the relationship between PFF and the endoscopic landmarks such as the tubercular recess (TR) and middle lowest point of sellar floor (SF) as well as analyze the relation between PPF and important structures such as internal carotid artery (ICA) and optic canal (OC).

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Computer topographic angiography (CTA) images of 118 PPF regions were reviewed. The measurement was on coronal, sagittal, and axial planes after multiplanar reconstruction (MPR). The location of PPF and its relationship to the sphenoid sinus, ICA, and OC were studied. The communicating canals of PPF, which were related to the transsphenoid approach, were three-dimensionally measured by the stationary structures, such as the middle lowest point of SF, the sagittal midline, and the top and bottom wall of sphenoid sinus.

RESULT: The posterior part of PPF was located by the middle lowest point of SF. The anterior opening of sphenopalatine foramen (SPF), pterygoid canal (PC), palatovaginal canal (PVC), and foramina rotundum (FR) have relative stationary position, which can be located by the landmarks of sellar region during the endoscopic surgery.

CONCLUSIONS: Pterygopalatine fossa is related to numerous neurovascular structures. Accurate understanding of the radiologic anatomy of PPF is beneficial for the PPF disease diagnosis, the selection of treatment plan and the prognosis evaluation.

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