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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


Ossification of Pterygospinous Ligament: An Incidental Finding in Cone Beam Computed Tomography

Challenging differential diagnosis, Diagnostic / therapeutic accidents, Rare disease

Hanadi M. Khalifa, Mohammed Abdulaziz Barayan

Saudi Arabia Department of Oral Diagnostic Sciences, Faculty of Dentistry, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Am J Case Rep 2021; 22:e928061

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.928061

Available online: 2021-04-26

Published: 2021-05-29


BACKGROUND: Ossification of the pterygospinous ligament (PSL) is an osseous variation occasionally observed in the extracranial region of the foramen ovale. It occurs in 1% to 31.2% of the population. The etiology of this condition remains unclear. However, its presence in the skulls of children suggests a hereditary nature. PSL ossification has not been reported in studies on incidental findings in cone beam computed tomography of the maxillofacial region, probably owing to the unfamiliarity with this rare finding. The correct radiographic identification of PSL ossification is crucial as it may produce various neurological disturbances or interfere with surgical procedures involving the infratemporal fossa.
CASE REPORT: Herein, we present a case of PSL ossification in an asymptomatic 35-year-old woman that was detected as an incidental finding in a cone beam computed tomography for implant treatment planning and discuss the clinical significance of this condition.
CONCLUSIONS: Although this osseous variant is well known in the anatomical literature, we believe it is rarely discussed among dentists. Healthcare providers, especially dentists, should rule out PSL ossification when a patient presents with a neurological disturbance of unknown causes.

Keywords: Cone-Beam Computed Tomography, Ligaments, Ossification, Heterotopic