Proposed classification of auriculotemporal nerve, based on the root system

PloS One
I KomarnitkiMarta Zalewska


The topography of the auriculotemporal nerve (ATN) root system is the main criterion of this nerve classification. Previous publications indicate that ATN may have between one and five roots. Most common is a one- or two-root variant of the nerve structure. The problem of many publications is the inconsistency of nomenclature which concerns the terms "roots", "connecting branches", or "branches" that are used to identify the same structures. This study was performed on 80 specimens (40 adults and 40 fetuses) to propose a classification based on: (i) the number of roots, (ii) way of root division, and (iii) configuration of interradicular fibers that form the ATN trunk. This new classification is a remedy for inconsistency of nomenclature of ATN in the infratemporal fossa. This classification system has proven beneficial when organizing all ATN variants described in previous studies and could become a helpful tool for surgeons and dentists. Examination of ATN from the infratemporal fossa of fetuses (the youngest was at 18 weeks gestational age) showed that, at that stage, the nerve is fully developed.


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Apr 10, 2015·PloS One·Iulian KomarnitkiMarta Zalewska
Dec 9, 2016·The Journal of Craniofacial Surgery·Joe IwanagaR Shane Tubbs

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