This study aimed to clarify intersection patterns and points among the superficial temporal artery (STA), superficial temporal vein (STV), and auriculotemporal nerve (ATN) based on surface anatomical landmarks to provide useful anatomical information for surgical decompression treatments of migraine headaches in Asians. Thirty-eight hemifaces were dissected. The positional patterns among the ATN, STA, and STV were divided into three morphological types. In type I, the ATN ran toward the temporal region and superficially intersected the STA and STV (n = 32, 84.2%). In type II, the ATN ran toward the temporal region and deeply intersected the STA and STV (n = 4, 10.5%). In type III, the ATN ran toward the temporal region and deeply intersected the STV alone (n = 2, 5.3%). The intersection points of types II and III were 10.3 ± 5.6 mm (mean ± SD) and 10.4 ± 6.1 mm anterior and 42.1 ± 21.6 mm and 41.4 ± 18.7 mm superior to the tragus, respectively. The ATN superficially intersected the STA and STV in all the Korean cadaver, while the ATN deeply intersected the STA and STV in 15% of the Thai cadavers. The pattern of the ATN deeply intersecting the STA and STV was less common in present Asian populations than in previously-reported Caucasian populations, implying that migraine headaches (resulting from the STA and STV compressing the ATN) are less common in Asians.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean government (MSIP) (NRF-2017R1A2B4003781). The authors thank Hwi-Eun Hur (BA) from Davidson College for her revision of the manuscript. The authors thank Su Hyun Chae (MS) from National Cancer Center for contributing illustrations to this manuscript.
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