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J Craniofac Surg. 2017 Sep;28(6):1578-1581. doi: 10.1097/SCS.0000000000003674.

Anatomic Study of Ophthalmic Artery Embolism Following Cosmetic Injection.

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Department of Plastic Surgery and Reconstructive Surgery, Zhejiang Provincial People's Hospital, Hangzhou, China.



Cosmetic injections of dermal fillers or fat could cause ophthalmic artery embolism and even blindness, the high-risk regions of which are considered glabellar, nasal dorsum, and nasolabial fold. Understanding anatomy of the related arteries is important for a physician to safely perform filler injections. To investigate the mechanisms of ophthalmic artery embolism following the injections, cadaver anatomy was studied.


Ophthalmic artery, facial artery, their branches, and anastomoses among them were anatomized in 12 fresh cadavers. Mimetic injections of hyaluronic acid were performed in glabellar region, nasal dorsum, and nasolabial fold, the relationships between injected filler and related arteries were then investigated.


It was clearly found that 4 arteries were located in common injection regions and connected to ophthalmic artery: supratrochlear artery, supraorbital artery, dorsal nasal artery, and angular artery. In the glabellar region, the deep injection on the periosteum will be risky to injure supratrochlear artery and supraorbital artery, whereas in nasal dorsum and nasolabial fold, the sub- superficial musculo aponeurotic system layer injection has the possibility to injure dorsal nasal artery, angular artery, and facial artery.


The anatomic mechanism of ophthalmic artery embolism is the anastomoses among the related arteries and ophthalmic artery. Based on the findings of the study, injections in periosteum layer at glabellar region or sub-superficial musculo aponeurotic system layer of nasal dorsum and nasolabial fold are not advised.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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