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Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2002 Nov;127(5):452-4.

The investing layer of the deep cervical fascia does not exist between the sternocleidomastoid and trapezius muscles.

Author information

1
Department of Anatomy and Structural Biology, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. zhang.ming@stonebow.otago.ac.nz

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

We sought to describe the 3-dimensional organization of connective tissues in the suboccipital region.

STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING:

We conducted a sectional anatomic investigation with the use of E12 sheet plastination.

SUBJECTS:

Six human adult cadavers (2 male and 4 female; age range, 54 to 86 years) were used in this study. Five of them were sectioned as 2.5-mm-thick coronal (1 cadaver), transverse (2 cadavers), or sagittal (2 cadavers) sections.

RESULTS:

No aggregation of fibrous connective tissue was seen between the sternocleidomastoid and trapezius muscles. The intervening space was fully occupied by fatty tissue that was indistinguishable from the subcutaneous tissue.

CONCLUSIONS:

The investing layer of the deep cervical fascia is incomplete so that the carotid sheath is directly exposed to the subcutaneous tissue via a gap between the sternocleidomastoid and trapezius muscle.

SIGNIFICANCE:

This anatomic feature should be considered when designing a minimally invasive endoscopic approach to the carotid sheath and the surrounding deep cervical structures.

PMID:
12447241
DOI:
10.1067/mhn.2002.129823
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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