Anatomical Variation of the Auriculotemporal Nerve in Thai Cadavers

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Rachanee Chanasong; Keerati Kiti-ngoen; Chalit Khaodaeng; Natthiya Sakulsak & Narawadee Choompoo


The auriculotemporal nerve (ATN) is an important structure lying within a limited area of an infratemporal region (ITR). The ATN is originated from the posterior branch of the mandibular division of the trigeminal nerve (V3). The ATN conveys somatosensory, secretomotor, and parasympathetic fibres of the V3 and gustatory nerve (CN IX). In literature, the most common pattern of the ATN is composed of 2 roots that encloses the middle meningeal artery (MMA). However, in many studies, it has been reported that there are many variations in ATN pattern formation. To study the variation of ATN pattern formation in Thai cadavers, 73 hemifaces from 39 Thai embalmed cadavers were dissected and the relations of the ATN to the MMA were recorded. This study concluded that there were 4 patterns observed in Thai cadavers. The common pattern is 2 roots (67.1 %), 3 roots (15.1 %), 1 root (9.6 %), and 4 roots (8.2 %). Knowledge of this variation in the ATN may be useful in understanding the symptoms of temporo-orofacial pain, paresthesia of temporomandibular joint (TMJ), possible side effects from the TMJ surgery and the efficiency of auriculotemporal nerve block for regional anesthesia of the temporomandibular joint in Thai people.

KEY WORDS: Auriculotemporal nerve; Inferior alveolar nerve; Middle meningeal artery; Variation; Thai cadaver.

How to cite this article

CHANASONG, R.; KITI-NGOEN, K.; KHAODAENG, C.; SAKULSAK, N. & CHOOMPOO, N. Anatomical variation of the auriculotemporal nerve in Thai cadavers. Int. J. Morphol., 38(6):1657-1661, 2020.