Pterygopalatine ganglion

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Pterygopalatine fossa (outlined in blue) and pterygopalatine ganglion in dogs

The pterygopalatine ganglion ("wing palate ganglion ") is a parasympathetic ganglion that lies in the eponymous pit ( pterygopalatine fossa ) on the palatine bone ( os palatinum ), in front of the wing extension of the sphenoid bone ( processus pterygoideus ossis sphenoidalis ). In the pterygopalatine ganglion, the switching of secretory (parasympathetic) fibers for the lacrimal, nasal, palate and throat glands as well as the vessels of the face and brain takes place. The ganglion is located near the sphenopalatine foramen.

Fibers leading to the pterygopalatine ganglion

The parasympathetic fibers originate from the nucleus of origin of the facial nerve , the nucleus salivatorius superior. This radix parasympathica contains the major petrosal nerve . The deep petrosal nerve runs in the sympathetic radix of the ganglion and contains postganglionic fibers from the internal carotid plexus . From the maxillary nerve (second branch of the trigeminal nerve) arise short ganglionic rami (sensory) that extend into the ganglion in the radix sensoria. The ganglion is used by the maxillary nerve as a so-called "attachment ganglion ". This means that the sensitive fibers of this trigeminal branch do not come into contact with the ganglion cells, but simply run through it and use it as a distribution station. However, the visceral efferent fibers of the ganglion use the Maxillarisäste (such zygomatic nerve , nerve nasopalatinus , Nervi palatini ) as a way to their target organs.

Fibers emanating from the pterygopalatine ganglion

Branches for the orbit , nasal cavity , palate and throat emerge from the pterygopalatine ganglion . For better orientation, the branches can be divided into two groups.

Branches that run through the sphenopalatine foramen:

They innervate the mucous membrane of the superior nasal meatus and medial nasal meatus , the upper sections of the nasal septum , the pharynx , the auditory tuba and, through the long nasopalatine nerve, which passes through the incisive canal, the anterior section of the palatal mucosa.

Furthermore, the nervi palatini ("palatal nerves") can be distinguished: The nervi palatini minores and the nervus palatinus major pass through the holes and channels of the same name (foramen nervi palatini majores et minores) in the hard palate ( palatum durum ) to the oral cavity. They innervate the inferior nasal meatus , the maxillary sinus , the palatal mucosa, the palatine tonsil ( tonsilla palatina ) and the gums of the upper jaw.

In the ganglion, the parasympathetic fibers are switched to the second neuron and these innervate the secretory glands of the nose and palate . Parasympathetic fibers are also supplied to the lacrimal gland via the zygomatic and lacrimal nerves from the pterygopalatine ganglion .

Passage points of withdrawing fibers and their accompanying structures

Scheme of the pterygopalatine fossa (right)
Entry point content connection to
Greater palatine canal Palatine nerve
arteria and descending palatine vein
Oral cavity through the greater palatine foramen
Sphenopalatine foramen Arteria nasales posteriores
Rr.nasales posteriores superiores and inferiores
Nasal cavity
Foramen rotundum Maxillary nerve middle cranial fossa ( fossa cranii media )
Pterygoid Canal Petrosus major and profundus nerves middle cranial fossa (fossa cranii media)
Pterygomaxillary fissure Arteria maxillaris
Nervi alveolar superiores posteriores
Infratemporal fossa
Inferior orbital fissure Infraorbital nerve Zygomatic
Arteria and Vena infraorbitalis
Inferior ophthalmic vein
Eye socket (orbit)

See also