Bilateral ophthalmic origin of the middle meningeal artery

Neurochirurgie. Aug-Oct 2013;59(4-5):183-6. doi: 10.1016/j.neuchi.2013.08.005. Epub 2013 Oct 28.


The origin of the middle meningeal artery (MMA) may vary although it can arise from the ophthalmic artery (OA) with a 0.5% prevalence. We report the exceptional bilateral asymmetric origin from the OAs that has not previously been reported in the literature. Surgeons should be aware of this variation as it could be crucial in the setting of an endovascular approach for meningeal lesions, as in our observation. A 50-year-old male underwent a preoperative cerebral digital subtracted angiography that incidentally revealed MMAs arising from the OA on both sides. In fact, the origin was asymmetric because it was complete on the right side with the anterior and posterior branches of the MMA arising from the OA, whereas it was partial on the left side, with only the anterior branch arising from the OA. The CT scan showed the absence of the foramen spinosum only on the right side. This paper discusses the unique anatomic variation in the light of MMA embryology and its different origins. Knowledge of this variation may have a practical impact in cases of cerebral embolization.

Keywords: Anatomic variation; Artère méningée moyenne; Artère ophtalmique; Middle meningeal artery; Ophthalmic artery; Variation anatomique.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Brain / blood supply*
  • Cerebral Angiography* / methods
  • Embolization, Therapeutic* / methods
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meningeal Arteries / pathology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Ophthalmic Artery / pathology*
  • Tomography Scanners, X-Ray Computed