Variations in the anatomy of the auriculotemporal nerve

Gulekon N., Anil A., Poyraz A., Peker T. V., Turgut H., Karakose M.

CLINICAL ANATOMY, vol.18, no.1, pp.15-22, 2005 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 18 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/ca.20068
  • Journal Name: CLINICAL ANATOMY
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.15-22
  • Keywords: infratemporal fossa, auriculotemporal nerve, variation, TEMPOROMANDIBULAR-JOINT, FREYS-SYNDROME
  • Gazi University Affiliated: Yes


The common representation of the auriculotemporal nerve is either that of a single posterior branch of the mandibular nerve or of two roots that envelope the middle meningeal artery. Our observation in the anatomy of the auriculotemporal nerve on 32 dissections ( 16 cadaveric heads) of the infratemporal fossa included: one specimen with four roots (3.1%), three specimens with three roots (9.4%), 12 specimens with two roots (37.5%), and 16 specimens with one root (50%). Furthermore, a connecting nerve branch was observed between auriculotemporal and inferior alveolar nerves in four specimens, and in another auriculotemporal nerve case, between the upper and lower roots. In the cadaver of a 70-year-old male, a four-rooted auriculotemporal nerve variation was found. These four branches lay to the posterior, combined at the posterosuperior of the maxillary and Superficial temporal arteries and formed a ganglion-like knot. From this knot, four branches stemmed and ran to the temporomandibular joint, external acoustic meatus, zygoma, and parotid gland. The knot was larger and thicker than expected; thus, it was removed and stained with haematoxylin-eosin (H&E) and S 100 for histological Studies. This structure was not a true ganglion but a structure formed by fusion of nerve fibers. (C) 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.