The Pterygopalatine Ganglion, Palatine Nerves and Vessels: Dissection and Pathway

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Florin Lupu; Catalina Iliuta; Mihaly Enyedi; Cosmin Pantu; Razvan Stanciulescu; Octavian Enciu & Florin Filipoiu


Background and Objectives: The palatine nerves and vessels cross the pterygopalatine fossa, the palatine canals, the palatine foramina and the submucosal space, at the level of the hard palate and the palatine recess of the maxillary sinus. Their trajectory is long, complicated and difficult to highlight on a single dissection piece. In the literature that we studied, we did not find clear images that fully highlight the real configuration of the pterygopalatine ganglion and nerves and of the palatine vessels. Our aim was to provide a clear and representative dissection of the pterygopalatine ganglion and of the palatine neurovascular bundle throughout its pathway in a simple, coherent and useful presentation for the practitioners interested in the regional pathology. We resected the posterior and inferomedial osseous walls of the maxillary sinus and highlighted the neurovascular structures in the pterygopalatine fossa and the wall of the maxillary sinus.We photographed the dissection fields and detailed the important relations. The images that we obtained are clear, simple and easy to interpret and use. We successfully highlighted the aspect and the main relations of the pterygopalatine ganglion and the pathway and distribution of the palatine nerves and vessels, from their origin to the terminal plexuses. There is a broad spectrum of clinical procedures or situations that require a proper knowledge and understanding of the anatomical pathway and relations of the palatine neurovascular elements.This includes the various types of regional anesthesia, tumor resection surgery, flaps of the palatine mucosa, the LeFort osteotomy etc. Demonstration of the pterygopalatine ganglion and its relations is useful in endoscopic interventions at the level of the pterygopalatine fossa.

KEY WORDS: Palatine nerves; Palatine arteries; Pterygopalatine ganglion; Maxillary sinus.

How to cite this article

LUPU, F.; ILIUTA, C.; ENYEDI, M.; PANTU, C.; STANCIULESCU, R.; ENCIU, O. & FILIPOIU, F. The pterygopalatine ganglion, palatine nerves and vessels: Dissection and pathway. Int. J. Morphol., 40(3):601-607, 2022.