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Laboratory 27. Infratemporal Fossa
Step 13. The Pterygoid Plexus of Veins

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The pterygoid plexus of veins is the main venous component associated with the infratemporal fossa. The plexus surrounds the maxillary artery and receives numerous branches from this region. Importantly, this venous plexus is also continuous with the cavernous venous sinus, veins of the orbit, and veins of the superficial face. These connections have clinical importance because infections, traveling by venous routes, may spread from the face to the cavernous sinuses.

The pterygoid plexus joins the maxillary vein as it passes posterior to the mandible. The maxillary vein [probe] joins the superficial temporal vein to form the retromandibular vein that lies within the parotid gland.

Links and References:
Grant's: 7.74
Netter: 35
Rohen/Yokochi: 80