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Topography, syntopy and morphology of the human otic ganglion: A cadaver study

Annals of Anatomy - Anatomischer Anzeiger
DOI: 10.1016/j.aanat.2014.05.039
  • Anatomy
  • Human
  • Otic Ganglion
  • Parasympathicus
  • Biology
  • Communication
  • Education
  • Medicine


Abstract The human otic ganglion (OG) is not readily accessible during ordinary anatomical teaching courses because of insufficient time and severe difficulties encountered in dissection. Accordingly, most anatomical descriptions of its location, relation to neighbouring structures, size and shape are supported only by drawings, but not by photographs. The aim of this study has been to present the OG with associated roots and branches in dissected anatomic specimens. Following cumbersome dissection and precise photo-documentation, a detailed analysis of location, syntopy and morphology was performed. We carried out this study in 21 infratemporal fossae of 18 cadavers and were able to identify the OG, the mandibular-, the inferior alveolar- and the lingual nerve in all of them. We found no significant variation regarding the location of the GO in the infratemporal fossa and its syntopy to the adjacent structures. An OG resembling the classic description was found only in 90.50% of the cases. All 3 roots (parasympathetic, sympathetic and sensory) could be identified only in 82.3% of the specimens. The established presence of ganglionic branches varied from 0% (communicating rami to the meningeal branch of the mandibular nerve, to the greater petrosal nerve and to the lingual nerve) to 90% (r. communicans to n. canalis pterygoideus). We conclude that precise knowledge of this enormous variety might be very helpful not only to students of medicine and dentistry during anatomical dissection courses, but also to head and neck surgeons, ear-nose-throat specialists and neurosurgeons when treating pathology of pre- and postganglionic fibres.

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