Anastomosis Between the Posterior Superior Alveolar Artery and the Infra-Orbital Artery: A Review of Current Terminology

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

Nilton Alves; Francisco Ceballos & Naira Figueiredo Deana


The posterior superior alveolar artery (PSAA) and the infra-orbital artery (IOA) present intraosseous and extraosseous rami which form an anastomosis in the lateral wall of the maxillary sinus. This anastomosis is always present, however it has not yet been included in anatomical terminology (AT), and different terms are used in scientific communication to refer to it. The aim of this study was to carry out a review of the different terms used to name this vascular structure. A literature review was carried out on the terms used to name the anastomosis between the PSAA and IOA in imaging studies and human cadavers that assessed the presence/frequency of this anatomical structure. The search was carried out in the Medline, EMBASE and LILACS databases, in Portuguese, Spanish and English, with no date restrictions. Qualitative analysis was applied to the studies selected, analysing the terminology used to refer to the anasto- mosis between the PSAA and IOA. Of the 2108 original articles found, 60 were selected as potentially relevant and 54 studies were finally included for qualitative analysis. Sixteen terms were found to refer to the anastomosis between the PSAA and IOA, the most frequent being Posterior Superior Alveolar Artery (PSAA), followed by Alveolar Antral Artery (AAA). Many terms are used in the medical literature to designate the anastomosis between the PSAA and IOA, the most frequent being PSAA and AAA. There is a need to unify the terms used to designate this vascular structure, and to incorporate the selected term into anatomical terminology, in order to avoid confusion in scientific communication.

KEY WORDS: Posterior superior alveolar artery; Infra-orbital artery; Alveolar antral artery; Anatomical terminology.

How to cite this article

ALVES, N.; CEBALLOS, F. & DEANA, N. F. Anastomosis between the posterior superior alveolar artery and the infra-orbital artery: A review of current terminology. Int. J. Morphol., 40(1):18-23, 2022.