The chorda tympani (ct) is seen crossing the middle ear space (ME) on the medial side of the manubrium of the malleus (mm). The tendon of the tensor tympani muscle (ttt) can be seen inserting into the manubrium medially. The chorda tympani enters the temporal bone as part of the facial nerve; separates laterally from the facial nerve about 0.5 cm superior to the stylomastoid foramen; ascends superiorly in a separate canal to the posterior wall of the middle ear space; enters the middle ear space via the posterior iter; exits the temporal bone via the anterior iter in close proximity to the petrotympanic suture; and joins the lingual nerve inferior to the skull. This nerve carries taste sensations from the anterior 2/3 of the tongue and preganglionic parasympathetic fibers to the submandibular ganglion. This ganglion innervates the submandibular and sublingual salivary glands. TM - Tympanic membrane.
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