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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2015, Article ID 878205, 6 pages
Research Article

Identification of the Bony Canal of the Posterior Superior Alveolar Nerve and Artery in the Maxillary Sinus: Tomographic, Radiographic, and Macroscopic Analyses

1Department of Biological Sciences (Anatomy), Bauru School of Dentistry, University of São Paulo (FOB-USP), Al. Dr. Octávio Pinheiro Brisola 9-75, 17012-901 Bauru, SP, Brazil
2University of Marilia (UNIMAR), Medical School, Discipline of Human Morphophysiology, Rua Hygino Muzy Filho, 17525-902 Marília, SP, Brazil
3Israeli Albert Einstein Hospital, Maxillofacial Surgery Service, Avenida Albert Einstein 627, Morumbi, 05652-900 São Paulo, SP, Brazil
4Department of Stomatology, Discipline of Radiology and Stomatology, Bauru School of Dentistry, University of São Paulo (FOB-USP), Bauru, SP, Brazil
5University of Sacred Heart, Rua Irmã Arminda, 10-50 Jardim Brasil, 17011-160 Bauru, SP, Brazil

Received 19 December 2014; Revised 4 March 2015; Accepted 5 March 2015

Academic Editor: Bay Boon Huat

Copyright © 2015 Iris Jasmin Santos German et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The aim of this study was to identify the shape and route of the bony canal of the posterior superior alveolar artery (PSAA) and posterior superior alveolar nerve (PSAN) using different identification methods, including computed tomography (CT), panoramic radiograph, and macroscopic evaluation (corpse and dry skull). Twenty-four patients were analyzed by CT and panoramic and posterior anterior (PA) radiographs; additionally, 90 dry skulls and 21 dissected anatomical specimens were examined. Three-dimensional-CT revealed that the lateral wall of the maxillary sinus resembled a tunnel format in 60% of the treated patients. Out of all 24 patients, the panoramic radiograph identified the bony canal in only one patient; whereas the PA radiograph identified it in 80% of the patients. The dry skulls showed tunnellike routes of the PSAA and PSAN in 65% of the cases. Moreover, the pathway was also visibly observed in the dissected anatomical specimens as a straight shape in 85% of the cases. Thus, our results demonstrated that the most common shape of the bony canal of the PSAA and PSAN is the tunnel format with a straight route by 3D-CT, posterior anterior radiography, and macroscopic evaluation. However, in the panoramic radiographs, it was difficult to identify this canal.