Sign in or
Blood Vessels of the Infratemporal Region
Blood Vessels of the Infratemporal Region
A) Maxillary artery
- Arises from the external carotid artery at the posterior border of the ramus of the mandible.
- Divides into three parts:
1. Mandibular partB) Pterygoid venous plexus
- Runs anteriorly between the neck of the mandible and the sphenomandibular ligament.
- Gives rise to the following branches:
- Deep auricular artery
- Supplies the external acoustic meatus.
- Anterior tympanic artery
- Supplies the tympanic cavity and tympanic membrane.
- Middle meningeal artery
- Is embraced by two roots of the auriculotemporal nerve and enters the middle cranial fossa through the foramen spinosum.
- Runs between the dura mater and the periosteum.
- May be damaged, resulting in epidural hematoma.
- Accessory meningeal artery
- Passes through the foramen ovale.2. Pterygoid part
- Inferior alveolar artery
- Follows the inferior alveolar nerve between the sphenomandibular ligament and the ramus of the mandible.
- Enters the mandibular canal through the mandibular foramen and supplies the tissues of the chin and lower teeth.
3. Pterygopalatine part
- Runs anteriorly deep to the temporalis and lies superficial (or deep) to the lateral pterygoid muscle.
- Has branches that include the anterior and posterior deep temporal, pterygoid, masseteric, and buccal arteries, which supply chiefly the muscles of mastication.
- Runs between the two heads of the lateral pterygoid muscle and then through the pterygomaxillary fissure into the pterygopalatine fossa.
- Has branches that include the following arteries:
- Posterior superior alveolar arteries
- Run downward on the posterior surface of the maxilla and supply the molar and premolar teeth and the maxillary sinus.
- Infraorbital artery
- Runs upward and forward to enter the orbit through the inferior orbital fissure.
- Traverses the infraorbital groove and canal and emerges on the face through the infraorbital foramen.
- Divides into branches to supply the lower eyelid, lacrimal sac, upper lip, and cheek.
- Gives rise to anterior and middle superior alveolar branches to the upper canine and incisor teeth and the maxillary sinus.
- Descending palatine artery
- Descends in the pterygopalatine fossa and the palatine canal.
- Supplies the soft and hard palates.
- Gives rise to the greater and lesser palatine arteries , which pass through the greater and lesser palatine foramina, respectively. The lesser palatine artery supplies the soft palate. The greater palatine artery supplies the hard palate and sends a branch to anastomose with the terminal (nasopalatine) branch of the sphenopalatine artery in the incisive canal or on the nasal septum.
- Artery of the pterygoid canal
- Passes through the pterygoid canal and supplies the upper part of the pharynx, auditory tube, and tympanic cavity.
- Pharyngeal artery
- Supplies the roof of the nose and pharynx, sphenoid sinus, and auditory tube.
- Sphenopalatine artery
- Is the terminal branch of the maxillary artery.
- Enters the nasal cavity through the sphenopalatine foramen in company with the nasopalatine branch of the maxillary nerve.
- Is the principal artery to the nasal cavity, supplying the conchae, meatus, and paranasal sinuses.
- May be damaged, resulting in epistaxis (nosebleed).
- Lies on the lateral surface of the medial pterygoid muscle, receives veins corresponding to the branches of the maxillary artery, and drains into the maxillary vein.
- Communicates with the cavernous sinus by emissary veins (that pass through the foramen ovale), the inferior ophthalmic vein by a vein (that runs through the infraorbital fissure), and the facial vein by the deep facial vein.
- Is formed by the superficial temporal vein and the maxillary vein.
- Divides into an anterior branch, which joins the facial vein to form the common facial vein, and a posterior branch, which joins the posterior auricular vein to form the external jugular vein.
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