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Transfacial View of Nasopharynx and Sphenoid Sinus

Surgical Correlation

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Anterior frontal view through the central part of the head and sphenoid bone. The optic nerves are located in their canals within the lesser wing of the sphenoid, the sphenoid sinus within the body, and the foramen rotundum within the greater wing of the sphenoid.  The pterygoid processes can also be seen with their lateral and medial pterygoid plates. The pharyngotympanic (Eustachian) tubes can be seen projecting into the lateral wall of the nasopharynx. The tensor veli palatini muscle descends along the lateral surface of the medial pterygoid plate before its tendon “hooks” around the hamulus of this plate to enter the soft palate. In this view, the maxillary nerve and nerve of the pterygoid canal (Vidian nerve) can be seen within their respective bony canals enroute to the pterygopalatine fossa. (Image courtesy of AL Rhoton, Jr.)

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