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Head Neck. 1990 Nov-Dec;12(6):503-6.

Anatomic study of the otic ganglion in humans.

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Department of Otolaryngology, Hasharon Hospital, Golda Medical Center, Petah Tikvah, Israel.


The presentation in the literature of the anatomy of the human otic ganglion (OG) has not varied much over the past three quarters of a century. Precise, similar descriptions of its size, color, shape, and relation with neighboring structures are portrayed in numerous textbooks and articles. We have carried out a study of the OG in 30 infratemporal fossae of 15 cadavers. Otic ganglia resembling the classic description were found in less than 60% of the cases. In 13%, some thickening could be seen adjacent to the mandibular nerve and in 27%, no definite structure could be observed. Except for a fleeting mention of this occurrence in a textbook from 1927, substantiated by personal communication with an authority in the field, we could find no record of the possible absence of this structure in the available literature. We describe our findings and stress the apparent anatomic variability of the OG. The pertinent literature is reviewed.

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