Siéssere S, Vitti M, Sousa LG, Semprini M, Iyomasa MM, Regalo SC.
Specialist in Anatomy Department of Morphology, Stomatology and
Physiology, School of Dentistry of Ribeirão Preto, University of São
Abstract: Having broad knowledge of anatomy is
essential for practicing dentistry. Certain anatomical structures call
for detailed studies due to their anatomical and functional importance.
Nevertheless, some structures are difficult to visualize and identify
due to their small volume and complicated access. Such is the case of
the parasympathetic ganglia located in the cranial part of the
autonomic nervous system, which include: the ciliary ganglion (located
deeply in the orbit, laterally to the optic nerve), the pterygopalatine
ganglion (located in the pterygopalatine fossa), the submandibular
ganglion (located laterally to the hyoglossus muscle, below the lingual
nerve), and the otic ganglion (located medially to the mandibular
nerve, right beneath the oval foramen). The aim of this study was to
present these structures in dissected anatomic specimens and perform a
comparative analysis regarding location and morphology. The proximity
of the ganglia and associated nerves were also analyzed, as well as the
number and volume of fibers connected to them. Human heads were
dissected by planes, partially removing the adjacent structures to the
point we could reach the parasympathetic ganglia. With this study, we
concluded that there was no significant variation regarding the
location of the studied ganglia. Morphologically, our observations
concur with previous classical descriptions of the parasympathetic
ganglia, but we observed variations regarding the proximity of the otic
ganglion to the mandibular nerve. We also observed that there were
variations regarding the number and volume of fiber bundles connected
to the submandibular, otic, and pterygopalatine ganglia.
Full access to text in Braz Oral Res. 2008 Apr-Jun;22(2):101-5.