Anatomical hierarchy

Masticator space

Translations

Description

The masticator spaces are paired suprahyoid cervical spaces on each side of the face. Each space is enveloped by the superficial (investing) layer of the deep cervical fascia.

The superficial layer of deep cervical fascia splits into two at the lower border of the mandible, the inner layer running deep to the medial pterygoid muscle and attaches to the skull base medial to foramen ovale and the outer layer covering masseter and temporalis muscles and attaches to the parietal cavarium superiorly.

The masticator space may be subdivided :

  • Masseteric space
  • Pterygomandibular space
  • Temporal space (zygomaticotemporal space)

 

Contents

  • muscles of mastication (masseter, temporal, pterygoid muscles)
  • ramus and body of mandible
  • inferior alveolar nerve
  • inferior alveolar vein and artery
  • mandibular division of the trigeminal nerve (V3) (enters the masticator space via the foramen ovale)

 

Boundaries and relations

  • anteriorly: buccal space
  • posterolaterally: parotid space
  • medially: parapharyngeal space

 

Communications

  • Masticator space malignancy can spread perineurally via the mandibular division of the trigeminal nerve into the middle cranial fossa.

  

Related pathology

 

  • odontogenic abscess
  • osteomyelitis
  • direct spread of squamous cell carcinoma
  • lymphoma
  • minor salivary gland tumours
  • muscle sarcoma
  • bone sarcoma
  • osteoradionecrosis
  • schwannoma
  • neurofibroma
  • benign masseteric hypertrophy
  • accessory parotid tissue

Harnsberger HR, Glastonbury CM, Michel MA et-al. Diagnostic Imaging: Head and Neck. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. (2010) ISBN:1931884781
Imaging of the Head and Neck. Thieme. (2012) ISBN:3131505311.
Gray's Anatomy (20th U.S. edition of Gray's Anatomy of the Human Body, published in 1918)
www.radiopaedia.org
www.wikipedia.org

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