Pterygoid plexus

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Vein: Pterygoid plexus
Veins of the head and neck.
Latin plexus pterygoideus
Gray's subject #167 645
Drains to facial vein
Artery maxillary artery
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The pterygoid plexus is of considerable size, and is situated between the Temporalis and Pterygoideus externus, and partly between the two pterygoid muscles.

Tributaries received

It receives tributaries corresponding with the branches of the maxillary artery.

Thus it receives the following veins:

  • sphenopalatine
  • middle meningeal[1]
  • deep temporal
  • pterygoid
  • masseteric
  • buccinator
  • alveolar
  • some palatine veins
  • a branch which communicates with the ophthalmic vein through the inferior orbital fissure
  • infraorbital vein


This plexus communicates freely with the anterior facial vein; it also communicates with the cavernous sinus, by branches through the foramen Vesalii, foramen ovale, and foramen lacerum.


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This article was originally based on an entry from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy. As such, some of the information contained herein may be outdated. Please edit the article if this is the case, and feel free to remove this notice when it is no longer relevant.