open access

Vol 83, No 1 (2024): Folia Morphologica
Original article
Submitted: 2023-02-23
Accepted: 2023-03-06
Published online: 2023-04-03
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The relationship between the auriculotemporal nerve and middle meningeal artery in a sample of the South African population

Sherelle Moodley1, Sundika Ishwarkumar2, Pamela Pillay1
·
Pubmed: 37016784
·
Folia Morphol 2024;83(1):66-71.
Affiliations
  1. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
  2. University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa

open access

Vol 83, No 1 (2024): Folia Morphologica
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Submitted: 2023-02-23
Accepted: 2023-03-06
Published online: 2023-04-03

Abstract

Background: The interaction between the auriculotemporal nerve and the middle meningeal artery within the infratemporal fossa is vital in the spread of perineural tumours. Knowledge of their morphological and morphometric variations is critical to surgeons approaching the infratemporal fossa. There is a paucity of literature on the relationship between the auriculotemporal nerve and middle meningeal artery in a South African population. Hence, the aim of this study was to document the morphology and morphometry of the auriculotemporal nerve and its relationship to the middle meningeal artery within a South African cohort.

Materials and methods: The infratemporal fossae of 32 cadaveric specimens were dissected and the auriculotemporal nerves and middle meningeal arteries were analysed, together with their variations.

Results: Nine out of 32 specimens displayed one-root, 14/32 two-root, 7/32 three-root, and 2/32 four-root auriculotemporal nerves. Eighteen auriculotemporal nerves originated from the mandibular nerve, while the rest had at least one communication to the inferior alveolar nerve. The mean distance between the first and second roots of the auriculotemporal nerve was 4.69 mm. There were V-shaped formations found in 23 auriculotemporal nerves. However, the middle meningeal artery only passed through 13/23 V-shapes. The maxillary artery was of a deep course in relation to the lateral pterygoid muscle in 19/32 and superficial in 13/32 of the sample. There were 15 accessory middle meningeal arteries present in 14/32 specimens. The accessory middle meningeal arteries often arose from the middle meningeal artery (46.67%).

Conclusions: The results of this study show a high possibility of variations of the auriculotemporal nerve and middle meningeal artery in the South African population. The variations and interactions should be considered during surgical procedures.

Abstract

Background: The interaction between the auriculotemporal nerve and the middle meningeal artery within the infratemporal fossa is vital in the spread of perineural tumours. Knowledge of their morphological and morphometric variations is critical to surgeons approaching the infratemporal fossa. There is a paucity of literature on the relationship between the auriculotemporal nerve and middle meningeal artery in a South African population. Hence, the aim of this study was to document the morphology and morphometry of the auriculotemporal nerve and its relationship to the middle meningeal artery within a South African cohort.

Materials and methods: The infratemporal fossae of 32 cadaveric specimens were dissected and the auriculotemporal nerves and middle meningeal arteries were analysed, together with their variations.

Results: Nine out of 32 specimens displayed one-root, 14/32 two-root, 7/32 three-root, and 2/32 four-root auriculotemporal nerves. Eighteen auriculotemporal nerves originated from the mandibular nerve, while the rest had at least one communication to the inferior alveolar nerve. The mean distance between the first and second roots of the auriculotemporal nerve was 4.69 mm. There were V-shaped formations found in 23 auriculotemporal nerves. However, the middle meningeal artery only passed through 13/23 V-shapes. The maxillary artery was of a deep course in relation to the lateral pterygoid muscle in 19/32 and superficial in 13/32 of the sample. There were 15 accessory middle meningeal arteries present in 14/32 specimens. The accessory middle meningeal arteries often arose from the middle meningeal artery (46.67%).

Conclusions: The results of this study show a high possibility of variations of the auriculotemporal nerve and middle meningeal artery in the South African population. The variations and interactions should be considered during surgical procedures.

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Keywords

infratemporal fossa, mandibular nerve, maxillary artery, meningeal arteries, neoplasms

About this article
Title

The relationship between the auriculotemporal nerve and middle meningeal artery in a sample of the South African population

Journal

Folia Morphologica

Issue

Vol 83, No 1 (2024): Folia Morphologica

Article type

Original article

Pages

66-71

Published online

2023-04-03

Page views

559

Article views/downloads

342

DOI

10.5603/FM.a2023.0024

Pubmed

37016784

Bibliographic record

Folia Morphol 2024;83(1):66-71.

Keywords

infratemporal fossa
mandibular nerve
maxillary artery
meningeal arteries
neoplasms

Authors

Sherelle Moodley
Sundika Ishwarkumar
Pamela Pillay

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