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Pterygomaxillary Fissure

Pterygomaxillary fissure is a triangle-shaped hole which is found among the body of maxilla and lateral pterygoid plate of sphenoid. The lateral portion of the pterygopalatine fossa is constant by the infratemporal fossa via a large gap by the pterygomaxillary fissure.


Pterygomaxillary fissure is located in the middle of lateral pterygoid plate as well as posterior surface of the maxilla and conducts:

  • Third part of the maxillary artery via infratemporal fossa till the pterygopalatine fossa.
  • Maxillary nerve.

It is created via the deviation of the maxilla through the pterygoid process of the sphenoid bone.


  • Superior: pterygoid process
  • Inferior: pterygoid plate
  • Anterior: posterior wall of maxillary sinus


  1. Medial wall and anterior wall of infratemporal fossa are separated by pterygomaxillary fissure.
  2. Infratemporal fossa connects with pterygopalatine fossa via pterygomaxillary fissure.
  3. Maxillary artery travels inside the gap in the middle of two heads of lateral pterygoid muscle in order to reach the pterygopalatine fossa through pterygomaxillary fissure.
  4. Posterior superior alveolar artery originates via maxillary artery simply before it moves in the pterygomaxillary fissure.
  5. At the lateral boundary the pterygopalatine fossa is released within the infratemporal fossa via pterygomaxillary fissure.
  6. The posterior superior alveolar nerve originates via the maxillary nerve inside the pterygopalatine fossa and travels laterally outside the fossa by the pterygomaxillary fissure in order to move in the infratemporal fossa.
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