Quantitative information on the normal size range of the masticatory muscles needed for successful treatment of facial asymmetry is sparse. Our purpose in this study was to define morphological indicators for the volume of the masticatory muscles on CT. Cross-sectional areas and volumes of the masseter and medial pterygoid muscles were measured from CT scans of 65 patients. The muscles were scanned from origin to insertion and the maximum cross-sectional area (MCSA) and its location together with the total volume were determined. The mandibular foramen was used as a landmark to determine the location of MCSA. The location of MCSA of masseter muscle was centred 8 mm above the mandibular foramen, and that of medial pterygoid muscle at the foramen. The MCSA of both muscles was highly correlated with volume suggesting that this parameter might serve as an indicator of their volume. Knowledge of the location of the MCSA would facilitate its measurement and so reduce radiation exposure. There was a positive correlation between the two muscles for both volume and MCSA. This finding could be relevant for future studies of the relationship between the morphology, biomechanics and pathology of the masticatory muscles.
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