Infratemporal fossa

Infratemporal fossa
Left infratemporal fossa.
Details
Part ofSkull
Identifiers
Latinfossa infratemporalis
MeSHD000080884
TA98A02.1.00.024
TA2428
FMA75308
Anatomical terminology

The infratemporal fossa is an irregularly shaped cavity that is a part of the skull. It is situated below and medial to the zygomatic arch. It is not fully enclosed by bone in all directions. It contains superficial muscles, including the lower part of the temporalis muscle, the lateral pterygoid muscle, and the medial pterygoid muscle. It also contains important blood vessels such as the middle meningeal artery, the pterygoid plexus, and the retromandibular vein, and nerves such as the mandibular nerve (CN V3) and its branches.

Structure

Boundaries

The boundaries of the infratemporal fossa occur:

Contents

Muscles

Arteries

Infratemporal fossa

The infratemporal fossa contains the maxillary artery (originating from the external carotid artery). It also contains some of its branches, including the:

Veins

The infratemporal fossa contains the pterygoid plexus, and the retromandibular vein.

Nerves

The infratemporal fossa contains the mandibular nerve, the inferior alveolar nerve, the lingual nerve, the buccal nerve, the chorda tympani nerve, and the otic ganglion.

Mandibular nerve

The mandibular nerve, the third branch of the trigeminal nerve (CN V3), also known as the "inferior maxillary nerve", enters infratemporal fossa from the middle cranial fossa through the foramen ovale of the sphenoid bone.

The mandibular nerve gives off four nerves to the four muscles of mastication in the infratemporal fossa. These are the masseteric nerve to masseter muscle, the deep temporal nerve to temporalis muscle, the lateral pterygoid nerve to lateral pterygoid muscle, and the medial pterygoid nerve to medial pterygoid muscle. It also gives branches to mylohyoid muscle, the anterior belly of digastric muscle, the tensor veli palatini muscle, and tensor tympani muscle.

The mandibular nerve also gives off many sensory branches, including:

Communications

The infratemporal fossa is connected to other spaces in the skull. It is connected to the middle cranial fossa by the foramen ovale and the foramen spinosum. It is connected to the temporal fossa, which lies deep to zygomatic arch. It is connected to the pterygopalatine fossa through the pterygomaxillary fissure. It is connected to the orbit through the inferior orbital fissure. It is also connected to the parapharyngeal space. The inferior orbital fissure and the pterygomaxillary fissure form a T shape together.

Clinical significance

Certain neoplasms can spread into the infratemporal fossa. This can be surgically removed through the middle cranial fossa. The infratemporal fossa can also be used to approach other parts of the skull. The infratemporal fossa can be imaged using a CT scan.

Additional images


This page was last updated at 2024-04-18 12:57 UTC. Update now. View original page.

All our content comes from Wikipedia and under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.


Top

If mathematical, chemical, physical and other formulas are not displayed correctly on this page, please useFirefox or Safari