Pterygopalatine fossa

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Pterygopalatine fossa
Gray159.png
Left maxillary sinus opened from the exterior.
Pterygopalatine fossa.PNG
Old human skull with entrance to pterygopalatine fossa marked in purple
Latin fossa pterygopalatina
Gray's p.166
Anatomical terms of bone

In human anatomy, the pterygopalatine fossa (sphenopalatine fossa) is a fossa in the skull. It is a cone-shaped paired depression deep to the infratemporal fossa and posterior to the maxilla on each side of the skull, located between the pterygoid process and the maxillary tuberosity, close to the apex of the orbit.[1] It is the indented area medial to the pterygomaxillary fissure leading into the sphenopalatine foramen. It communicates with the nasal and oral cavities, infratemporal fossa, orbit, pharynx, and middle cranial fossa through eight foramina.[2]

Structure[edit]

Boundaries[edit]

It has the following boundaries:

Passages[edit]

The following passages connect the fossa with other parts of the skull:

Direction Passage Connection
Posteriorly foramen rotundum middle cranial fossa
Posteriorly pterygoid canal (Vidian) middle cranial fossa, foramen lacerum
Posteriorly palatovaginal canal (pharyngeal) nasal cavity/nasopharynx
Anteriorly inferior orbital fissure orbit
Medially sphenopalatine foramen nasal cavity
Laterally pterygomaxillary fissure infratemporal fossa
Inferiorly greater palatine canal (pterygopalatine) oral cavity,

lesser palatine canals

Functions[edit]

The pterygopalatine fossa contains

See also[edit]

This article uses anatomical terminology; for an overview, see anatomical terminology.

Additional images[edit]

Alveolar branches of superior maxillary nerve and pterygopalatine ganglion 
The pterygopalatine ganglion and its branches 
Pterygopalatine fossa in a dog 
Pterygopalatine fossa 

References[edit]

  1. ^ Illustrated Anatomy of the Head and Neck, Fehrenbach and Herring, Elsevier, 2012, page 69
  2. ^ Osborn, Anne (March 1979). "Radiology of the Pterygoid Plates and Pterygopalatine Fossa". AJR 132 (3): 389–394. doi:10.2214/ajr.132.3.389. PMID 106641. Retrieved December 2012. 

External links[edit]