Anatomy Atlases(tm) : A digital library of anatomy information

Home | About | FAQ | Reviews | Search

Anatomy Atlases: Illustrated Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation: Opus II: Cardiovascular System: Arteries: Head, Neck, and Thorax, Accessory Meningeal Artery

Illustrated Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation: Opus II: Cardiovascular System: Arteries: Head, Neck, and Thorax

Accessory Meningeal Artery

Ronald A. Bergman, PhD
Adel K. Afifi, MD, MS
Ryosuke Miyauchi, MD

Peer Review Status: Internally Peer Reviewed

An accessory meningeal artery is present in about 96% of individuals. It originates from either the middle meningeal or maxillary artery with almost equal frequency.

When the maxillary passes behind the lateral pterygoid muscle, the accessory meningeal arises from the maxillary artery; when the maxillary passes in front of the lateral pterygoid muscle, the accessory meningeal arises from the middle meningeal artery.

The accessory meningeal artery may be doubled.

The artery distributes branches to the medial pterygoid muscle, superior head of the lateral pterygoid, tensor veli palatini, parts of the sphenoid bone, middle cranial fossa , root of the mandibular division of the trigeminal nerve, and the otic ganglion. It has also been reported to supply the trigeminal (semilunar) ganglion in about 50% of cases.

It has been suggested that this artery would be better named pterygomeningeus, for historic and distribution reasons.


Adachi, B. (1928) Das Arteriensystem der Japaner. Kenkyusha Press, Kyoto.

Aaron, C. and A.R. Chawaf. (1967) Variations de la carotide externe et de ses branches. L'Assoc. Anatomistes Comptes Rendus. 52:125-133.

Anson, B.J., Ed. (1966) Morris' Human Anatomy, 12th ed., The Blakiston Division, McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York.

Baumel, J.J. and D.Y. Beard. (1961) The accessory meningeal artery of man. J. Anat. 95:386-402.

Bergman, R.A., Thompson, S.A., Afifi, A.K. and F.A. Saadeh. (1988) Compendium of Human Anatomic Variation: Catalog, Atlas and World Literature. Urban & Schwarzenberg, Baltimore and Munich.

Henle, J. (1868) Handbuch der Systematischen Anatomie des Menschen. Von Freidrich Vieweg und Sohn, Braunschweig.

Hovelacque, A. and M. Virenque. (1913) Les formations aponéurotiques de la region pterygomaxillaire chez l'homme et chez quelques mammiféres. J. Anat. Physiol. 49:427-488.; 618-706.

Kopsch, F. (1908) Rauber's Lehrbuch und Atlas der Anatomie des Menschen. Georg Thieme, Leipzig.

Lauber, H. (1901) Ueber einige Varietaten im Verlaufe der arteria maxillaris interna. Anat. Anz. 19:444-448.

Lurje, A. (1947) On the topographical anatomy of the internal maxillary artery. Acta Anat. 2:219-231.

Poynter, C.W.M. (1922) Congenital Anomalies of the Arteries and Veins of the Human Body with Bibliography. The University Studies of the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. 22:1-106.

Priman, J. and L.E. Etter. (1959) The pterygospinous and pterygoalar bars. Med. Radio. Photo. 35:2-6.

Section Top | Title Page

Home | About Us | FAQ | Reviews | Contact Us | Search

Anatomy Atlases is curated by Michael P. D'Alessandro, M.D. and Ronald A. Bergman, Ph.D.

Please send us comments by filling out our Comment Form.

All contents copyright © 1995-2018 the Author(s) and Michael P. D'Alessandro, M.D. All rights reserved.

"Anatomy Atlases", the Anatomy Atlases logo, and "A digital library of anatomy information" are all Trademarks of Michael P. D'Alessandro, M.D.

Anatomy Atlases is funded in whole by Michael P. D'Alessandro, M.D. Advertising is not accepted.

Your personal information remains confidential and is not sold, leased, or given to any third party be they reliable or not.

The information contained in Anatomy Atlases is not a substitute for the medical care and advice of your physician. There may be variations in treatment that your physician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.