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Laboratory 27. Infratemporal Fossa

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The aim of this laboratory is to examine the region of the deep face, called the infratemporal fossa [cross-section shown]. The boundaries of the infratemporal fossa and its contents will be studied. Major contents of the infratemporal fossa include the muscles of mastication, sensory and motor branches of the mandibular division of the trigeminal nerve (CN V), branches of the maxillary artery, and pterygoid plexus of veins.

Before dissecting, identify the borders of the infratemporal fossa. The ramus of the mandible forms the lateral border. The medial wall of the fossa is formed in part by the lateral pterygoid plate.The pterygomaxillary fissure is an opening in the medial border. The anterior border of the fossa is formed in part by the posterior wall of the maxillary sinus. The roof of the infratemporal fossa is the greater wing of the sphenoid bone.