Unilateral variation in the origin of the inferior alveolar and buccal arteries: A case report

I. Velasco, R. Soto, R. García, G. Sepúlveda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The maxillary artery (MA) is one of the terminal branches of the external carotid artery (ECA) and is located in the infratemporal fossa (IF). Some of the branches in this region are the inferior alveolar artery (IAA) and the buccal artery (BA), both descending branches. Here, we report an unusual unilateral origin of the IAA and the BA from a common trunk directly from the ECA. We conducted a routine dissection of both IF in a 54-year-old hispanic male cadaver. Fixed with Universidad de los Andes® conservative solution and red latex for vascular filling. On each side, the MA is observed superficially located over the lateral pterygoid muscle. On the right side, the IAA and the BA originate from a common trunk from the ECA approximately 5 mm prior to the bifurcation into their terminal branches. On the left side, the IAA originates from the MA that is immediately next to its origin, making a common trunk with the pterygoid branches. Knowing the morphology of the MA and its branches at the IF is important for oral and maxillofacial surgery procedures; and any variation in the origin or course of these arteries may result in the patient's increased morbidity during some invasive procedure in the area.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)927-929
Number of pages3
JournalInternational Journal of Morphology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2011


  • Anatomical variations
  • Buccal artery
  • Inferior alveolar artery
  • Infratemporal fossa
  • Maxillary artery

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