Morphology of the pterygomandibular raphe in human fetuses and adults
Article first published online: 22 FEB 2005
Copyright © 1989 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
The Anatomical Record
Volume 224, Issue 1, pages 117–122, May 1989
How to Cite
Shimada, K. and Gasser, R. F. (1989), Morphology of the pterygomandibular raphe in human fetuses and adults. Anat. Rec., 224: 117–122. doi: 10.1002/ar.1092240115
- Issue published online: 22 FEB 2005
- Article first published online: 22 FEB 2005
- Manuscript Accepted: 10 OCT 1988
- Manuscript Received: 19 JUN 1988
The pterygomandibular raphe as described in current anatomy textbooks is not supported by actual observations in cadavers. A study was made on 60 adult Caucasian and Negro cadavers (52 right and 58 left sides, giving a total of 110 sides) providing comparison with an earlier study on Japanese specimens. In addition, 50 fetuses (25 mm crown-rump length to term) were examined to determine the arrangement of the raphe prenatally. Variations in the morphology of the raphe region were classified into three types: Type A—only the upper portion of the raphe could be identified and had a broad, triangular shape. Type B—the buccinator and superior pharyngeal constrictor muscles were widely separated by a broad, fascial region. Type C—the raphe was absent with complete continuity of the buccinator and superior pharyngeal constrictor muscles. A prominent, narrow, tendinous band with attachments as described in current textbooks was never found in adults. There was a complete absence of the raphe in 36% of the specimens resulting in continuity of the buccinator and superior pharyngeal constrictor muscles (type C). However, the remaining adult specimens (64%) exhibited some form of a broad, fascial region that either completely (type B, 36%) or partially (type A, 28%) separated the two muscles. All of the fetuses exhibited the type B arrangement exclusively, indicating that changes in the shape of the raphe occur postnatally. The frequency of appearance of the raphe types in adults differs significantly according to race.