Karligkiotis, Apostolos and Volpi, Luca and Abbate, Vincenzo and Battaglia, Paolo and Meloni, Francesco and Turri-Zanoni, Mario and Bignami, Maurizio and Castelnuovo, Paolo (2014) Palatovaginal (pharyngeal) artery: clinical implication and surgical experience. European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Vol. 271 (10), p. 2839-2843. ISSN 0937-4477. eISSN 1434-4726. Article.
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The palatovaginal or pharyngeal artery is a small branch of the internal maxillary artery supplying the nasopharynx. Bleeding from this artery is exceptional and only one case of traumatic epistaxis from this artery has been reported previously. We report a case of a 66-year-old male presenting with right recurrent posterior epistaxis. Endoscopic dissection of the pterygopalatine fossa and direct visualization of the palatosphenoidal canal permitted to identify the origin of bleeding, and coagulation of the pharyngeal artery solved the epistaxis. Although rare, intractable posterior epistaxis may arise from the pharyngeal artery. The anatomical knowledge of this artery and of the palatosphenoidal canal is of outmost importance in endoscopic transpterygoid and nasopharyngeal procedures, to identify the vidian canal, evaluate nasopharyngeal cancer spread in the pterygopalatine fossa, reduce bleeding during surgery of the nasopharynx, and harvest adequately the pedicle of the nasoseptal flap.
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