pterygopalatine fossa

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pter·y·go·pal·a·tine fos·sa

a small pyramidal space, housing the pterygopalatine ganglion and third part of the maxillary artery, between the pterygoid process, the maxilla, and the palatine bone.
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012

pterygopalatine fossa

A thin wedge-shaped space behind the nasal cavity and below the deep apex of the orbit; laterally, it opens into the infratemporal fossa (via the pterygomaxillary fissure). The pterygopalatine fossa contains the pterygopalatine ganglion. The maxillary branch of the trigeminal nerve (CN V) enters the fossa from behind, through the foramen rotundum, and the pterygoid nerve enters the fossa via the pterygoid canal.
Synonym: sphenomaxillary fossa
See also: fossa
Medical Dictionary, © 2009 Farlex and Partners


Marie F.X., French anatomist, physician, and biologist, 1771-1802.
Bichat canal - Synonym(s): cistern of great cerebral vein.
Bichat fat pad - an encapsuled mass of fat in the cheek on the outer side of the buccinator muscle. Synonym(s): buccal fat pad
Bichat fissure - the nearly circular fissure corresponding to the medial margin of the cerebral (pallial) mantle, marking the hilus of the cerebral hemisphere.
Bichat foramen - Synonym(s): cistern of great cerebral vein
Bichat fossa - sphenomaxillary fossa, a small pyramidal space, housing the pterygopalatine ganglion, between the pterygoid process, the maxilla, and the palatine bone. Synonym(s): pterygopalatine fossa
Bichat ligament - the lower fasciculus of the posterior sacroiliac ligament.
Bichat membrane - the inner elastic membrane of arteries.
Bichat protuberance - Synonym(s): buccal fat pad
Bichat tunic - the tunica intima of the blood vessels.
Medical Eponyms © Farlex 2012
References in periodicals archive ?
An additional aim was to determine the depth of needle penetration into pterygopalatine fossa through GPC to help dentists avoid serious complications following regional block anesthesia.
The pattern seen on contrast-enhanced CT is an intensely stained lesion in the nasopharynx with widening of the pterygopalatine fossa.[6] Contrast enhancement also allows the tumor to be located precisely in reference to the medial and lateral pterygoid.
He mentioned this at the Ear Nose and Throat clinic during follow-up of surgical drainage of a mucocele from the pterygopalatine fossa six months before.
[4, 5] Yoshida and Kawase classified extracranial schwannomas into infratemporal, orbital and pterygopalatine fossa components.[6] The schwannoma of orbit accounts for 1-4% of all orbital neoplasm.[7] The tumor has no significant sex predilection and age of presentation varies from 6 months to 72 years.
* II: Tumor invades the pterygopalatine fossa or the maxillary, ethmoid, or sphenoid sinus with bone destruction.
Pterygopalatine fossa (PPF) is a common cavity in the skull and the face; its neurovascular content and communication path making them crucial in odontoestomatology (Daniels et al., 1983, 1998; Singh et al., 2001; Bleier & Mirza, 2006; Roberti et al., 2007).
As for head and neck involvement, in addition to the orbit and paranasal sinuses, other reported sites have included the neck, (4) infratemporal fossa, (8) pterygopalatine fossa, (8) submandibular gland, (9) masseter space, (10) larynx, (11) oral cavity, (12) tonsils, (13) thyroid gland, (14) parotid gland, (15) nasopharynx, (16) temporal bone (mastoid, (17) middle ear cavity, (18) and inner ear (19), and trachea.
(10) Endoscopic and endoscopic-assisted surgery have become popular, (11) and several authors advocate this approach for tumors confined to the nasal cavity, sinuses, and pterygopalatine fossa. (12,13) Surgical resection is not always possible for advanced cases (i.e., those with intracranial extension), however.
(3) Since then approximately thirty cases have been reported till 2009.2 These lesions can occur at several sites like buccal soft tissues, neck, infratemporal, or pterygopalatine fossa and submandibular gland.
Other conditions and procedures which utilise the maxillary sinus and Caldwell luc as a conduit include, maxillary artery ligation, Vidian neurectomy, pterygopalatine fossa surgeries and sphenopalatine artery libation to name a few.
Many studies have indicated that JNA originates in the pterygopalatine fossa at the aperture of the pterygoid canal.