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Concept: Mandibular nerve


Euchambersia mirabilis is an iconic species of Permo-Triassic therapsid because of its unusually large external maxillary fossa linked through a sulcus to a ridged canine. This anatomy led to the commonly accepted conclusion that the large fossa accommodated a venom gland. However, this hypothesis remains untested so far. Here, we conducted a μCT scan assisted reappraisal of the envenoming capacity of Euchambersia, with a special focus on the anatomy of the maxillary fossa and canines. This study shows that the fossa, presumably for the venom-producing gland, is directly linked to the maxillary canal, which carries the trigeminal nerve (responsible for the sensitivity of the face). The peculiar anatomy of the maxillary canal suggests important reorganisation in the somatosensory system and that a ganglion could possibly have been present in the maxillary fossa instead of a venom gland. Nevertheless, the venom gland hypothesis is still preferred since we describe, for the first time, the complete crown morphology of the incisiform teeth of Euchambersia, which strongly suggests that the complete dentition was ridged. Therefore Euchambersia manifests evidence of all characteristics of venomous animals: a venom gland (in the maxillary fossa), a mechanism to deliver the venom (the maxillary canal and/or the sulcus located ventrally to the fossa); and an apparatus with which to inflict a wound for venom delivery (the ridged dentition).

Concepts: Cranial nerves, Mandibular nerve, Venom, Trigeminal nerve, Maxillary nerve, Therapsida, Therocephalia


BACKGROUND: Trigeminal nerve is a major source of the sensory input of the face, and trigeminal neuropathology models have been reported in rodents with injury to branches of the maxillary or mandibular division of the trigeminal nerve. Non-human primates are neuroanatomically more closely related to human than rodents; however, nerve injury studies in non-human primates are limited. RESULTS: We describe here a nerve injury model of maxillary nerve compression (MNC) in the cynomolgus macaque monkey, Macaca fascicularis, and the initial characterization of the consequences of damage to this trigeminal nerve branch. The nerve injury from the compression appeared to be mild, as we did not observe overt changes in home-cage behavior in the monkeys. When mechanical stimulation was applied to the facial area, monkeys with MNC displayed increased mechanical sensitivity, as the avoidance response scores were lower than those from the control animals. Such a change in mechanical sensitivity appeared to be somewhat bilateral, as the contralateral side also showed increased mechanical sensitivity, although the change on the ipsilateral side was more robust. Multiple-unit recording of the maxillary nerve showed a general pattern of increasing responsiveness to escalating force in mechanical stimulation on the contralateral side. Ipsilateral side of the maxillary nerve showed a lack of responsiveness to escalating force in mechanical stimulation, possibly reflecting a maximum stimulation threshold effect from sensitized nerve due to MNC injury. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that MNC may produce increased sensitivity of the ipsilateral maxillary nerve, and that this model may serve as a non-human primate model to evaluate the effect of injury to trigeminal nerve branches.

Concepts: Macaque, Cranial nerves, Primate, Mandibular nerve, Monkey, Trigeminal nerve, Maxillary nerve, Simian


Background: Topography and fascicular arrangement of the inferior alveolar nerve (IAN) can provide critical information for the estimation of damage to IAN based on patient symptoms, or conversely to evaluate the symptoms resulting from injury to the IAN. Purpose: The fascicular composition and organization of the IAN were determined to confirm the microarchitecture of the IAN bundles into each of the mandibular teeth, including the composition of the mental nerve. Materials and Methods: The IAN within the mandibular canal (MC) was examined in 30 hemifaces of embalmed Korean cadavers. Results: The most common patterns of nerve fascicle innervation to the mandibular teeth could be grossly classified into three: (1) the superior buccal portion of the IAN innervating the molars, (2) the superior portion innervating the premolars, and (3) the superior lingual or the superior lingual and inferior lingual portions in the posterior MC and the lingual portions in the anterior MC, innervating the incisors and canine. The buccal two-thirds portion of the IAN was composed of the mental nerve. Conclusion: The IAN had distinctive fascicular organizations, which make it possible to forecast the degree, location, and extent of nerve damage according to presenting symptoms.

Concepts: Cranial nerves, Teeth, Mandibular nerve, Incisor, Canine tooth, Inferior alveolar nerve, Mandibular canal, Mental nerve


Modern crocodylians possess a derived sense of face touch, in which numerous trigeminal nerve-innervated dome pressure receptors speckle the face and mandible and sense mechanical stimuli. However, the morphological features of this system are not well known, and it remains unclear how the trigeminal system changes during ontogeny and how it scales with other cranial structures. Finally, when this system evolved within crocodyliforms remains a mystery. Thus, new morphological insights into the trigeminal system of extant crocodylians may offer new paleontological tools to investigate this evolutionary transformation. A cross-sectional study integrating histological, morphometric, and 3D imaging analyses was conducted to identify patterns in cranial nervous and bony structures of Alligator mississippiensis. Nine individuals from a broad size range were CT-scanned followed by histomorphometric sampling of mandibular and maxillary nerve divisions of the trigeminal nerve. Endocast volume, trigeminal fossa volume, and maxillomandibular foramen size were compared with axon counts from proximal and distal regions of the trigeminal nerves to identify scaling properties of the structures. The trigeminal fossa has a significant positive correlation with skull length and endocast volume. We also found that axon density is greater in smaller alligators and total axon count has a significant negative correlation with skull size. Six additional extant and fossil crocodyliforms were included in a supplementary scaling analysis, which found that size was not an accurate predictor of trigeminal anatomy. This suggests that phylogeny or somatosensory adaptations may be responsible for the variation in trigeminal ganglion and nerve size in crocodyliforms. Anat Rec, 00:000-000, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Concepts: Nervous system, Neuroanatomy, Cranial nerves, Mandibular nerve, Trigeminal nerve, Maxillary nerve, Trigeminal ganglion, Alligator


Interdural epidermoid cysts of the cavernous sinus originate within the lateral dural wall of the cavernous sinus. Few data are available on the diagnosis and treatment of these tumors. In this study, four patients with interdural epidermoid cyst of the cavernous sinus are reported and data from six patients reported in the English literature are summarized. Trigeminal nerve dysfunction, ophthalmoplegia, and headache were the common symptoms and signs. MRI was the primary diagnostic tool. Contrast enhanced MRI showed slight or strong rim enhancement in six of the 10 patients. All patients were treated by surgical resection using frontotemporal or pterional craniotomy via the intradural or interdural approach. Total removal was achieved in three of the four patients, and four of 10 patients in the whole series. Postoperative neurological function improved in all patients. During follow-up, there were three known clinical recurrences in the total group, but no recurrence in the four patients treated at Qilu Hospital of Shandong University. The findings suggest that aggressive surgical management is associated with good results and with low complication and recurrence rates, but radical resection at the risk of impairing the cranial nerves is not recommended.

Concepts: Cranial nerves, Nerve, Mandibular nerve, Oculomotor nerve, Trochlear nerve, Trigeminal nerve, Maxillary nerve, Abducens nerve


Profound pulpal anesthesia in posterior mandibular teeth with irreversible pulpitis usually requires administering an inferior alveolar nerve block (IANB) plus other supplemental injections. The purpose of this prospective, randomized, double-blind study was to compare the anesthetic success rate of buccal infiltration injections of articaine and lidocaine when supplemented with an IANB.

Concepts: Cranial nerves, Mandibular nerve, Local anesthetic, Inferior alveolar nerve, Mandibular canal


Trigeminal nerve injury is the most problematic consequence of dental surgical procedures with major medico-legal implications. This study reports the signs and symptoms that are the features of trigeminal nerve injuries caused by mandibular third molar (M3M) surgery. 120 patients with nerve injury following M3M surgery were assessed. All data were analysed using the SPSS statistical programme and Microsoft Excel. 53 (44.2%) inferior alveolar nerve (IAN) injury cases and 67 (55.8%) lingual nerve injury (LNI) cases were caused by third molar surgery (TMS). Neuropathy was demonstrable in all patients with varying degrees of paraesthesia, dysaesthesia (in the form of burning pain), allodynia and hyperalgesia. Pain was one of the presenting signs and symptoms in 70% of all cases. Significantly more females had IAN injuries and LNIs (p<0.05). The mean ages of the two groups of patients were similar. Speech and eating were significantly more problematic for patients with LNIs. In conclusion, chronic pain is often a symptom after TMS-related nerve injury, resulting in significant functional problems. Better dissemination of good practice in TMS will significantly minimize these complex nerve injuries and prevent unnecessary suffering.

Concepts: Surgery, Symptom, Pain, Cranial nerves, Mandibular nerve, Trigeminal nerve, Lingual nerve, Inferior alveolar nerve


Our objective was to investigate the pathway of the lingual nerve and find out whether it can be identified using ultrasonography (US) intraorally. It is a dominant sensory nerve that branches from the posterior division of the mandibular aspect of the trigeminal nerve, and is one of the two most injured nerves during oral surgery. Its anatomy in the region of the third molar has been associated with lingual nerves of variable morphology. If surgeons can identify its precise location using US, morbidity should decrease. We searched published anatomical and specialty texts, journals, and websites for reference to its site and US. Cadavers (28 nerves) were dissected to analyse its orientation at the superior lingual alveolar crest (or lingual shelf). Volunteers (140 nerves) had US scans to identify the nerve intraorally. Our search of published books and journals found that descriptions of the nerve along the superior lingual alveolar crest were inadequate. We found no US studies of the nerve in humans. Dissections showed that the nerve was above (n=6, 21%) and below (n=22, 79%) the crest of the lingual plate. US scans showed 140 lingual nerves intraorally in 70 volunteers. The nerve lay either above or below the superior lingual alveolar crest, which led us to develop a high/low classification system. US can identify the lingual nerve and help to classify it preoperatively to avoid injury. Our results suggest that clinical anatomy of the lingual nerve includes the superior lingual alveolar crest at the third and second molars because of its surgical importance. US scans can successfully identify the nerve intraorally preoperatively.

Concepts: Neuroanatomy, Cranial nerves, Anatomy, Mandibular nerve, Tongue, Trigeminal nerve, Dissection, Lingual nerve


PURPOSE: The aim of the study was to assess the distribution of accessory foramina in the mandibular body with computed tomography (CT). MATERIALS AND METHODS: The CT images of the mandibular body in 300 subjects (183 females and 117 males aged between 12 and 85 years) were retrospectively analysed for the presence of accessory foramina. The buccal and lingual surfaces were examined by dividing them into anterior and posterior quadrants. RESULTS: Of the 300 subjects, 26 presented with accessory foramina on buccal posterior aspect and 70 subjects presented on buccal anterior aspect. Further, on the lingual posterior aspect, 132 subjects presented with accessory foramina and 59 subjects presented on lingual anterior aspect. Most of the subjects with accessory foramina in the buccal posterior, buccal anterior and lingual anterior regions had accessory foramina on other aspects of the mandible as well. CONCLUSION: A substantial number of subjects presented with accessory foramina on the lingual posterior aspect when compared to other aspects. Nevertheless, the number of subjects with accessory foramina on other aspects of the mandible was considerable and cannot be ignored. It is suggested that when an accessory foramen is identified in an individual on a particular aspect of the mandibular body, it is highly probable that he will exhibit accessory foramina on other aspects as well.

Concepts: Mandible, Cranial nerves, Mandibular nerve, Foramina of the skull, Foramen


Our aim was to explore the relation between the site of the mandibular canal and neurosensory impairment after extraction of impacted mandibular third molars. We organised a retrospective study of 537 extractions in 318 patients in which the affected tooth was intersected by the mandibular canal. This was verified by cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT), and we analysed the relation between the site of the canal and the likelihood of injury to the inferior alveolar nerve (IAN) after extraction of the third molar. The relation between the position of the root of the tooth and the mandibular canal was categorised into 4 groups: I=root above the canal; II=on the buccal side; III=on the lingual side; and IV=between the roots. The overall rate of neurosensory impairment after extraction was 6% (33/537). It occurred in 9/272 patients (3%) in group 1, 16/86 (19%) in group II, and in 8/172 (5%) in group III. There was no neurosensory impairment in group IV where the canal was between the roots. There were significant differences between group II and groups I and III (p<0.01), but not between groups I and III (p=0.32). The risk of damage to the inferior alveolar nerve is increased if third molars intersect with the mandibular canal, particularly on its buccal side.

Concepts: Teeth, Molar, Mandibular nerve, Lingual nerve, Inferior alveolar nerve, Inferior alveolar artery, Mandibular canal, Mandibular third molar