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Microanatomy of the Infraorbital Canal and Its Connecting Canals in the Maxilla Using 3-D Reconstruction of Microcomputed Tomographic Images

Song, Wu-Chul MD, PhD*; Kim, Jeong-Nam MS*; Yoo, Ja-Young MD*; Lee, Ju-Young PhD*; Won, Sung-Yoon PhD; Hu, Kyung-Seok DDS, PhD; Kim, Hee-Jin DDS, PhD; Koh, Ki-Seok PhD*

Journal of Craniofacial Surgery: July 2012 - Volume 23 - Issue 4 - p 1184–1187
doi: 10.1097/SCS.0b013e3182587a4f
Anatomical Studies

The current study investigated the anatomy of the infraorbital canal (IOC) and its related small canals in the maxilla. Twenty-eight hemimaxillae from human cadavers were studied. The samples were scanned using microcomputed tomography, and then images were three-dimensionally reconstructed using computer software. The branch point of the canal into the anterior superior alveolar nerve from the IOC occurred at about one third along the length of the IOC in the anterior direction. Just over half of the cases had 1 canal. The branch arose either laterally (21/28) or inferiorly (7/28) from the IOC. There was a canal located at the inferior lateral border of the piriform aperture in all cases. The distribution of the canals in the maxilla is represented indirectly by the course and distribution of the nerve and blood vessels therein. This distribution could explain various phenomena encountered in the clinical field.

From the *Department of Anatomy, Research Institute of Medical Science, Konkuk University School of Medicine; and †Division in Anatomy and Developmental Biology, Department of Oral Biology, Oral Science Research Center, Human Identification Research Center, Yonsei University College of Dentistry, Seoul, Korea.

Received February 19, 2012.

Accepted for publication March 31, 2012.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Ki-Seok Koh, PhD, Department of Anatomy, Research Institute of Medical Science, Konkuk University School of Medicine, 1 Hwayang-dong, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul, 143-701 Korea; E-mail:

This work was supported by the Korea Science and Engineering Foundation (KOSEF) grant funded by the Korea government (MOST) (no. R01-2007-000-10358-0).

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

© 2012 Mutaz B. Habal, MD