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Ahead of Print
CASE REPORTS
Published online: 2020-02-13
Submitted: 2020-01-03
Accepted: 2020-02-03
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The sphenozygomatic fissure

M. C. Rusu, F. Pop, M. Săndulescu
DOI: 10.5603/FM.a2020.0018
·
Pubmed: 32073134

open access

Ahead of Print
CASE REPORTS
Published online: 2020-02-13
Submitted: 2020-01-03
Accepted: 2020-02-03

Abstract

The lateral (temporal) wall of the orbit separates it from the temporal fossa and the anterior part of the temporal muscle. Within this wall, the sphenozygomatic suture joins the greater wing of the sphenoid bone and the zygomatic bone. We retrospectively documented in cone beam computed tomography the anatomy of the orbit in a 56 y.o. female and we found a previously unreported anatomic variant. The greater wing of the sphenoid bone and the zygomatic bone were separated, bilaterally, by a large unossified space which we termed the sphenozygomatic fissure. This was merged inferiorly with the inferior orbital fissure. A possible imbalanced mechanism of membranous ossification of both the zygomatic bone and the orbital surface of the greater wing could be speculated as a possible cause for such sphenozygomatic fissure. This previously undocumented anatomic variant is of high clinical relevance, since it may allow orbital fat to herniate (or bulge) toward the temporal fossa, it may be easily damaged during minor trauma and it should be carefully approached during the surgery of the orbit through the lateral wall.

Abstract

The lateral (temporal) wall of the orbit separates it from the temporal fossa and the anterior part of the temporal muscle. Within this wall, the sphenozygomatic suture joins the greater wing of the sphenoid bone and the zygomatic bone. We retrospectively documented in cone beam computed tomography the anatomy of the orbit in a 56 y.o. female and we found a previously unreported anatomic variant. The greater wing of the sphenoid bone and the zygomatic bone were separated, bilaterally, by a large unossified space which we termed the sphenozygomatic fissure. This was merged inferiorly with the inferior orbital fissure. A possible imbalanced mechanism of membranous ossification of both the zygomatic bone and the orbital surface of the greater wing could be speculated as a possible cause for such sphenozygomatic fissure. This previously undocumented anatomic variant is of high clinical relevance, since it may allow orbital fat to herniate (or bulge) toward the temporal fossa, it may be easily damaged during minor trauma and it should be carefully approached during the surgery of the orbit through the lateral wall.

Get Citation

Keywords

orbit, cone beam computed tomography, temporal fossa, orbital hernia, hiatus

About this article
Title

The sphenozygomatic fissure

Journal

Folia Morphologica

Issue

Ahead of Print

Published online

2020-02-13

DOI

10.5603/FM.a2020.0018

Pubmed

32073134

Keywords

orbit
cone beam computed tomography
temporal fossa
orbital hernia
hiatus

Authors

M. C. Rusu
F. Pop
M. Săndulescu

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