Laboratory Identifications and Relations -- Infratemporal Fossa

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[ SBMP ] [ Skull ] [ Face ] [ Cavernous Sinus ] [ Orbit ] [ Parotid Region, TMJ, Mandible ] [ Infratemporal Fossa ] [ Pterygopalatine Fossa ]

Boundaries - Skull Landmarks

  1. anterior - posterior aspect of maxilla
  2. posterior - styloid process
  3. superior - infratemporal crest
  4. inferior - body of mandible
  5. medial - pterygoid plate (pterygo maxillary fissure)
  6. lateral - ramus of mandible


  1. Zygomatic process temporal bone - forms suture with zygoma
  2. Mastoid process - attachment of SCM, splenius capitus, longus capitus
  3. External auditory meatus
  4. Styloid process - site of origin for three mm having three different innervation, stylohyoid ligament
  5. Petrotympanic fissure - medial to mandibular fossa, chorda tympani branch of facial
  6. Lateral pterygoid plate - medial boundary of IFTF, site of attachment of two muscles of mastication
  7. Maxilla - forms anterior boundary of IFTF
  8. Zygoma - contributes to zygomatic arch
  9. Hamulus of medial pterygoid plate - pulley for tendon of tensor veli palatini
  10. Greater wing of sphenoid bone - part of roof of IFTF, pterion, foramen ovale, foramen spinosum
  11. Inferior orbital fissure - transmits infraorbital a. (IFTF) and infraorbital n. (PTF)
  12. Pterygomaxillary fissure - medial wall of IFTF, communication between IFTF and PTF
  13. Pterygopalatine fossa - comunicates with IFTF, orbit, nasal cavity, oral cavity, nasopharynx, cavernous sinus (MCF), MCF
  14. Foramen spinosum - middle meningeal a., sphenomandibular lig, LSPN, between MCF and IFTF
  15. Foramen ovale - mandibular division of trigeminal n., emissary v. (pterygoid plexus to cavernous sinus), LSPN, between MCF and IFTF
  16. Sphenopalatine foramen - medial wall of PTF, between PTF and nasal cavity, transmits terminal branches maxillary a, branchs of V2
  17. External carotid artery - terminating in maxillary a. and superficial temporal a.
  18. Superficial temporal artery - giving off transverse facial a., anterior to external auditory meatus, temporal fossa
  19. Maxillary artery - posterior to neck of mandible
  20. Deep auricular artery - branch off maxillary a. toward base of external auditory meatus
  21. Inferior alveolar artery - branch of maxillary a., entering mandibular f.
  22. Middle meningeal artery - branch of maxillary a., entering foramen spinosum, surrounded by split of auriculotemporal n.
  23. Deep temporal arteries - deep to temporalis, temporal fossa, branches of maxillary in IFTF
  24. Buccal artery - branch of maxillary a., crossing lateral surface of medial pterygoid
  25. Posterior superior alveolar artery - entering foramen on posterior maxilla
  26. Infraorbital artery - branch of maxillary a., entering inferior orbital fissure
  27. Artery of maxillary nerve - branch of maxillary a., through foramen rotundum
  28. Artery of pterygoid canal - branch of maxillary a., through pterygoid canal
  29. Pharyngeal artery - branch of maxillary a. through palatovaginal canal
  30. Greater and lesser palatine arteries - leaving floor of pterygopalatine fossa, at hard and soft palate
  31. Lateral posterior nasal arteries - terminal branches of maxillary a., through sphenopalatine foramen, superior, middle, inferior
  32. Mandibular nerve - at foramen ovale
  33. Auriculotemperal nerve - anterior to external auditory meatus
  34. Inferior alveolar nerve - entering IFTF from PTF, enters foramen on posterior maxilla
  35. Lingual nerve - lateral surface of medial pterygoid muscle
  36. Buccal nerve - lateral surface of medial pterygoid muscle, piercing the buccinator
  37. Chorda tympani nerve (CN VII) - petrotympanic fissure, joinning with the lingual n., functional components
  38. Maxillary nerve - roof of pterygopalatine fossa
  39. Posterior superior alveolar nerve - entering infratemporal fossa from pterygopalatine fossa
  40. Infraorbital nerve - continuation of maxillary n. into the orbit, inferior orbital fissure, roof of PTF
  41. Mandibular Foramen - transmits inferior alveolar n. a., adjacent to lingula, dental anesthesia
  42. Facial Nerve - entering parotid region from stylomastoid foramen
  43. Communicating branch - parasympathetics, leaving auriculotemporal n. to join with branches of facial n.

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