Parotid Branches of the Auriculotemporal Nerve: An Anatomical Study With Implications for Frey Syndrome.

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

The Journal of craniofacial surgery


Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Cadaver; Facial Nerve; Female; Humans; Male; Mandible; Mandibular Nerve; Parotid Gland; Sweating, Gustatory; Trigeminal Nerve


The auriculotemporal nerve is one of the many branches of the mandibular division of the trigeminal nerve. Of these, its superficial temporal branch has been most described. Although the parotid branches, secretomotor fibers to the parotid gland, are well known as the cause of Frey syndrome, there have been almost no descriptions of their anatomy. In this study, the authors dissected the parotid branches of the auriculotemporal nerve to elucidate their anatomy. A total of 10 sides from 7 adult and embalmed cadaver heads were used in this study. The specimens were derived from 3 males and 4 females, the age of cadavers at death ranged from 65 to 92 years old. Measurements included their diameter and the distance of their branching point from the main trunk of the auriculotemporal nerve from the middle of the tragus. Three of 10 sides had 2 parotid branches and 7 sides were found to have 1 parotid branch. The vertical distance between middle of the tragus to branching point of the parotid branch ranged from 1.79 to 16.17 mm. The horizontal distance between middle of the tragus to branching point of the parotid branch ranged from 3.03 to 12.62 mm. The diameter of the parotid branch ranged from 0.31 to 0.49 mm. An improved knowledge of the parotid branch of the auriculotemporal nerve might decrease injury to these structures with the potential for postoperative.

Clinical Institute

Neurosciences (Brain & Spine)