The middle meningeal artery (Latin arteria meningea media) is typically the third branch of the first part (retromandibular part) of the maxillary artery, one of the two terminal branches of the external carotid artery. After branching off the maxillary artery in the infratemporal fossa, it runs through the foramen spinosum to supply the dura mater (the outermost meninges) and the calvaria. The middle meningeal artery is the largest of the three (paired) arteries which supply the meninges, the others being the anterior meningeal artery and the posterior meningeal artery.
In approximately half of subjects it branches into an accessory meningeal artery.
The anterior branch of the middle meningeal artery runs beneath the pterion. It is vulnerable to injury at this point, where the skull is thin. Rupture of the artery may give rise to an epidural hematoma. In the dry cranium, the middle meningeal, which runs within the dura mater surrounding the brain, makes a deep indention in the calvarium.
The middle meningeal artery is intimately associated with the auriculotemporal nerve which wraps around the artery making the two easily identifiable in the dissection of human cadavers and also easily damaged in surgery.
Other articles related to "middle meningeal artery, artery":
2% of the cases), in which case the middle meningeal artery enters the cranial cavity through the foramen ovale ... This is especially true when the middle meningeal artery arises from the ophthalmic artery (the foramen would be near to empty in that case) ... In rare cases, early division of the middle meningeal artery into a posterior and anterior division may result in a duplication of the foramen spinosum ...
Famous quotes containing the word middle:
“The middle years of parenthood are characterized by ambiguity. Our kids are no longer helpless, but neither are they independent. We are still active parents but we have more time now to concentrate on our personal needs. Our childrens world has expanded. It is not enclosed within a kind of magic dotted line drawn by us. Although we are still the most important adults in their lives, we are no longer the only significant adults.”
—Ruth Davidson Bell. Ourselves and Our Children, by Boston Womens Health Book Collective, ch. 3 (1978)