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The fetal pterygopalatine ganglion in man

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Author(s): Rusu MC

Journal: Neuroanatomy
ISSN 1303-1783

Volume: 5;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 40;
Date: 2006;
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Keywords: pterygopalatine ganglion | fetus | silver stain | human

ABSTRACT
The pterygopalatine ganglion lies deep in the pterygopalatine fossa, being morphologically attached to the maxillary division of the trigeminal nerve and functionally belonging to the facial nerve. The topographical relations of this deeply located ganglion are rather difficult to study and the specific morphology, in fetal life and adults, is lacking in references. To study the macroscopic appearance and the topographical relations of the fetal pterygopalatine ganglion five fetuses with crown-rump length (CRL) longer than 25 cm. were used. Drawn ganglia from the dissected specimens were submitted to silver staining with the Bielschowsky technique (on blocks). In the last trimester of the fetal life the pterygopalatine ganglion is configured and its topographical relations reproduce those described in adults. Structurally, the microscopic study revealed a constituted autonomic ganglion, with the preganglionic fibers entering the ganglionic core and configuring an intraganglionic plexus intermingled with eccentric neurocytes of 6–12 microns size.

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