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The pterygoalar bar: A meta-analysis of its prevalence, morphology and morphometry.

TitleThe pterygoalar bar: A meta-analysis of its prevalence, morphology and morphometry.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsPękala, P. A., Henry B. Michael, Pękala J. R., Frączek P. A., Taterra D., Natsis K., Piagkou M., Skrzat J., & Tomaszewska I. M.
JournalJ Craniomaxillofac Surg
Date Published2017 Sep
KeywordsFemale, Foramen Magnum, Humans, Ligaments, Male, Ossification, Heterotopic, Prevalence, Sex Distribution, Skull Base, Sphenoid Bone

PURPOSE: The pterygoalar (PA) bar is a bony bridge resulting from the partial or complete ossification of a PA ligament. The aim of this meta-analysis was to systematically analyze and provide the most comprehensive data on the prevalence, morphology and topographical anatomy of the PA bar.MATERIALS AND METHODS: A comprehensive search of the major electronic databases (PubMed, Embase, ScienceDirect, SciELO, BIOSIS, and Web of Science) was conducted in order to identify relevant studies. Studies reporting the prevalence, side of occurrence, gender dimorphism and morphometry of the PA bar were included in the current study.RESULTS: A total of 25 articles (n = 16,168 subjects) were included in the meta-analysis. The overall pooled prevalence of the complete PA bar was 4.4% (95% CI: 3.0-6.0) and of the incomplete was 8.4% (95% CI: 4.6-13.3). The PA bar was most often observed unilaterally, on the left side. Analysis of geographical subgroups revealed considerable differences, with the lowest prevalence rates in Europe for both incomplete and complete PA bars.CONCLUSIONS: Considering the prevalence and anatomical characteristics of the PA bar, caution is recommended while planning or performing transfacial needle approach to the foramen ovale and when considering a differential diagnosis for nerve compression or entrapment syndromes.

Alternate JournalJ Craniomaxillofac Surg
PubMed ID28797820


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