Anatomical and Histological Components of the Bilaminar Zone of the Temporomandibular Joint. A Narrative Review

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Farfán Constanza; Quidel Bryan; Borie-Echevarría Evelyn & Fuentes Ramón


One of the structures which contributes to the correct functioning of the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) is the Articular Disc (AD). Viewed in sagittal section, the AD is divided into four zones, the last is the Bilaminar Zone (BZ). The BZ is essential for keeping the AD in its superior position and for retracting the AD to posterior in the maximum aperture position. Its composition and the disposition of its components is unclear. The object of this narrative review is to update concepts on the anatomy of the BZ, with its variations, histological components, vascularization and innervation. The following databases were reviewed: PUBMED, SCOPUS, EMBASE, WEB OF SCIENCE, SciELO and LILACS. Only studies in human beings without alterations to the TMJ, using dissection in cadavers or radiography in live subjects, were included. Systematic reviews, letters to the editor, technical articles and experimental or quasi-experimental studies in animals were excluded. This review included a total of 24 articles which corresponded to the proposed research object. Our results describe the morphology of the BZ, its anatomical relations and possible variations, its histological components, types of fibre and distribution percentages; the latter are discussed in the literature, but no consensus exists. This is not the case for the vascularization and innervation of the BZ; all authors analyzed agree on these points, with just one author adding two possible arteries that may play a part in irrigation. Furthermore, a large number of authors recognize the discomalleolar ligament and its close relation with the BZ.

KEY WORDS: Temporomandibular joint; Anatomy; Bilaminar zone; Retrodiscal zone; Histology.

How to cite this article

FARFÁN, C.; QUIDEL, B.; BORIE-ECHEVARRÍA, E. & FUENTES, R. Anatomical and histological components of the bilaminar zone of the temporomandibular joint. A narrative review. Int. J. Morphol., 39(2):477-483, 2021.