Original article

Anatomical Science International

, Volume 87, Issue 4, pp 187-194

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Variations in the course of the maxillary artery in Japanese adults

  • Shingo MaedaAffiliated withDepartment of Anatomy, School of Life Dentistry at Niigata, Nippon Dental University
  • , Yukio AizawaAffiliated withDepartment of Anatomy, School of Life Dentistry at Niigata, Nippon Dental University
  • , Katsuji KumakiAffiliated withDepartment of Anatomy, School of Life Dentistry at Niigata, Nippon Dental University
  • , Ikuo KageyamaAffiliated withDepartment of Anatomy, School of Life Dentistry at Niigata, Nippon Dental University Email author 

Abstract

Many authors have studied variation in the maxillary artery but there have been inconsistencies between reported observations. The present research aimed to examine the courses and branching patterns of the trunk and branches of the maxillary artery in a large sample of Japanese adult cadavers. The course of the maxillary artery should be reclassified into seven groups as a clear relationship was found between the origin of the middle meningeal artery and the course of the maxillary artery. This indicates that conventional theory about the formation of the maxillary artery, which was considered to be a direct derivative of the stapedial artery, might be inaccurate. Many variations in the origin of the inferior alveolar artery were found. Notably, the inferior alveolar artery origin from the external carotid artery and a double origin of the inferior alveolar artery was also observed. Thus, the maxillary artery might be derived from a combination of both the external carotid and stapedial arteries.

Keywords

Maxillary artery Inferior alveolar artery Middle meningeal artery Posterior deep temporal artery Lateral pterygoid muscle