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Surg Radiol Anat. 2011 Dec;33(10):843-9. doi: 10.1007/s00276-011-0801-2. Epub 2011 Mar 22.

Re-evaluation of superficial fascia of anterior abdominal wall: a computed tomographic study.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy, Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj Medical University (Earstwhile King George's Medical College), Lucknow, UP, India.



Understanding the topographic anatomy of the membranous layer of superficial fascia of anterior abdominal wall may help in explaining the body contour deformities and provide the anatomic basis for surgical corrections. Existing controversies in the presence and extent of membranous layer of the superficial fascia of anterior abdominal wall among anatomists and misinterpretation of its anatomical description by clinicians provoked us to re-evaluate the superficial fascia of anterior abdominal wall.


Fifty CT scans of abdominal region of either sex were studied to see the vertical and horizontal extent of membranous layer.


The membranous layer was clearly seen in whole of the anterior abdominal wall except for few cases where either it was not clear superiorly in zone 1 (16%) or inferiorly in zone 3 (6%). On combining the horizontal and vertical extent of membranous layer in each and every individual, altogether eight types of patterns were obtained. Out of these patterns, four were present in females and all the eight types in males.


The membranous layer is present in whole of the anterior abdominal wall and it divides the superficial fascia into three layers: superficial fatty layer, intermediate membranous layer, and deep fatty layer. If membranous layer is not clear in CT scan the reason could be the absence of deposition of fat in deep compartment.

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