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Plast Reconstr Surg. 2008 Jan;121(1):233-40. doi: 10.1097/01.prs.0000299260.04932.38.

The anatomy of the corrugator supercilii muscle: part II. Supraorbital nerve branching patterns.

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Department of Plastic Surgery, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas 75390-9132, USA.



This article focuses on delineation of supraorbital nerve branching patterns relative to the corrugator muscle fibers and identifies four branching patterns that help improve understanding of the local anatomy.


Twenty-five fresh cadaver heads (50 corrugator supercilii muscles and 50 supraorbital nerves) were dissected and the corrugator supercilii muscles isolated. After corrugator supercilii muscle measurement points were recorded for part I of the study, the supraorbital nerve branches were then traced from their emergence points from the orbit and dissected out to the defined topographical boundaries of the muscle. Nerve branching patterns relative to the muscle fibers were analyzed, and a classification system for branching patterns relative to the muscle was created.


Four types of supraorbital nerve branching patterns were found. In type I (40 percent), only the deep supraorbital nerve division sent branches that coursed directly along the undersurface of the muscle. In type II (34 percent), branches emerging directly from the superficial supraorbital nerve were found in addition to the branches from the deep division. Type III (4 percent) included discrete branches from the superficial division, but none from the deep division. In type IV (22 percent), significant branching began more cephalad relative to the muscle and, therefore, displayed no specific relation to the muscle fibers.


Contrary to previous reports, both the deep and superficial divisions of the supraorbital nerve are intimately associated with corrugator supercilii muscle fibers. Four supraorbital nerve branching patterns from these divisions were found. Potential sites of supraorbital nerve compression were identified. This more detailed anatomical information may improve the safety and accuracy of performing complete corrugator supercilii muscle resection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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