Maxillary artery

Artery: Maxillary artery
Plan of branches of maxillary artery. ("Internal maxillary" is horizonal at left center.)
Plan of branches of maxillary artery.
Latin arteria maxillaris
Gray's subject #144 559
Source external carotid artery   
Branches 1st part: anterior tympanic - deep auricular - middle meningeal - superior tympanic - accessory meningeal - inferior alveolar
2nd part: Posterior deep temporal artery - Pterygoid branches - masseteric - buccinator - Anterior deep temporal artery
3rd part: posterior superior alveolar - infraorbital - descending palatine - artery of the pterygoid canal - sphenopalatine
Vein maxillary veins
Precursor aortic arch 1

The maxillary artery (or internal maxillary artery in older texts) is an artery that supplies deep structures of the face. It branches from the external carotid artery just deep to the neck of the mandible.



Superficial dissection of the right side of the neck, showing the carotid and subclavian arteries. Origin of maxillary artery is labeled.
Branches of the maxillary artery.

The maxillary artery, the larger of the two terminal branches of the external carotid artery, arises behind the neck of the mandible, and is at first imbedded in the substance of the parotid gland; it passes forward between the ramus of the mandible and the sphenomandibular ligament, and then runs, either superficial or deep to the lateral pterygoid muscle, to the pterygopalatine fossa.

It supplies the deep structures of the face, and may be divided into mandibular, pterygoid, and pterygopalatine portions.

First portion

The first or mandibular portion passes horizontally forward, between the neck of the mandible and the sphenomandibular ligament, where it lies parallel to and a little below the auriculotemporal nerve; it crosses the inferior alveolar nerve, and runs along the lower border of the lateral pterygoid muscle.

Branches include:

Second portion

The second or pterygoid portion runs obliquely forward and upward under cover of the ramus of the mandible and insertion of the temporalis, on the superficial (very frequently on the deep) surface of the lateral pterygoid muscle; it then passes between the two heads of origin of this muscle and enters the fossa.

Branches include:

Third portion

The third or pterygopalatine portion lies in the pterygopalatine fossa in relation with the pterygopalatine ganglion. This is considered the terminal branch of the maxillary artery.

Branches include:


  • Formerly, the term "external maxillary artery" was used to describe what is now known as the facial artery (per Terminologia anatomica.) Currently, the term "external maxillary artery" is less commonly used, and the terms "internal maxillary artery" and "maxillary artery" are equivalent.

Mnemonic to remember branches: DAM I AM Piss Drunk, But Stupid Drunk I Prefer, Must Phone Alcoholics Anonymous.

In order: DAM Artery! I Made Dolly Parton's Bra Pop & I Didn't Stop!

Additional images

External links

This article was originally based on an entry from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy. As such, some of the information contained within it may be outdated.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • maxillary artery — n an artery supplying the deep structures of the face (as the nasal cavities, palate, tonsils, and pharynx) and sending a branch to the meninges of the brain called also internal maxillary artery compare FACIAL ARTERY * * * …   Medical dictionary

  • maxillary artery — noun either of two arteries branching from the external carotid artery and supplying structure of the face • Syn: ↑arteria maxillaris • Hypernyms: ↑artery, ↑arteria, ↑arterial blood vessel • Hyponyms: ↑facial artery, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • maxillary artery external — arteria facialis …   Medical dictionary

  • maxillary artery internal — arteria maxillaris …   Medical dictionary

  • Pterygoid branches of maxillary artery — Infobox Artery Name = PAGENAME Latin = rami pterygoidei arteriae maxillaris GraySubject = 144 GrayPage = 561 Caption = Plan of branches of internal maxillary artery. (Pterygoid labeled at center top.) Caption2 = Plan of branches of internal… …   Wikipedia

  • internal maxillary artery — noun the maxillary artery that supplies deep structure of the face and some of the meninges • Hypernyms: ↑maxillary artery, ↑arteria maxillaris * * * noun see maxillary artery …   Useful english dictionary

  • external maxillary artery — noun an artery that originates in the external carotid and gives off branches that supply the neck and face • Syn: ↑facial artery, ↑arteria facialis • Hypernyms: ↑maxillary artery, ↑arteria maxillaris * * * noun see maxillary artery …   Useful english dictionary

  • internal maxillary artery — n MAXILLARY ARTERY …   Medical dictionary

  • external maxillary artery — n FACIAL ARTERY …   Medical dictionary

  • Maxillary veins — Vein: Internal maxillary vein Veins of the head and neck. (Internal maxillary vein visible at center.) …   Wikipedia

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