Ossification of the pterygospinous and pterygoalar ligaments and their clinical relevance

Eldan Kapur, Damir Čirić, Damir Čirić, Elvira Talović, Elvira Talović




Objectives: The objective of this research was to determine the morphometric characteristics of lateral pterygoid plate, incidence and detailed anatomy of pterygospinous and pterygoalar bony bridges and their correlation with oval foramen.

Material and methods: The anatomical variations of lateral pterygoid plate were studied at 100 dried human skulls (50 males, 50 females), bilaterally. The statistical analyses were conducted according to the side of cranium, gender and age.

Results: The presence of complete pterygospinous foramen was found in 4% and presence of pterygoalar foramen in 15% of cases. The significant difference of incomplete pterygospinous bony bridges incidence according to gender has not been confirmed. However, it has been established higher frequency of complete pterygospinous and pterygoalar foramen, as well as incomplete pterygoalar foramen in men compared with female skulls. Higher frequency of pterygospinous foramen was noticed on male skulls in comparing to female skulls with a ratio 3/1. The pterygoalar foramen had left-sided predominance, independently to gender. We found a significantly higher frequency in presence of complete ossified pterygoalar bony bridges on the left side (12% cases), comparing to right side (3% cases) regardless to gender.

Conclusion: Ossifications of pterygospinous and pterygoalar ligaments aren't as rare as previously thought. While interpreting radiological images and performing procedures that require access to foramen ovale, infratemporal fossa and parapharyngeal region, variable ossified formations at lateral plate's posterior border of pterygoid process should be kept in mind.

Key words: Lateral pterygoid plate, pterygospinous and pterygoalar bony bridges, the pterygospinous and pterygoalar foramen

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