Stapedial Artery: An Enigma!
In the standard textbooks of human embryology, the chapters dealing with the pharyngeal arch arteries and their fate in adult life, describe the stapedial artery as representing the second arch artery. Any structure to be described as a “derivative” of a fetal structure, has to be present in the normal adult and there is no stapedial artery in “normal” adult human body. The stapedial artery appears transiently during fetal life before it regresses (involutes). This article attempts to discuss this anomalous description of a structure as a representative (in spite of its absence in healthy adults!) which seems to be continuing in certain textbooks and hence in teaching as well and wonders whether it is time to modify this much accepted view in the descriptive embryology.
B Venugopala Rao