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Clin Anat. 2018 Jan;31(1):99-108. doi: 10.1002/ca.23007. Epub 2017 Nov 16.

The facial artery: A Comprehensive Anatomical Review.

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Division in Anatomy and Developmental Biology, Department of Oral Biology, Human Identification Research Institute, BK21 PLUS Project, Yonsei University College of Dentistry, Seoul, 03722, South Korea.
Department of Occupational Therapy, Semyung University, Jecheon, 27136, South Korea.
Department of Anatomy, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, 03722, South Korea.


The facial artery is the major vessel supplying blood to the face so its location and course are very important for the safe manipulation of both surgical and non-surgical interventions. This study documents current anatomical information about the facial artery and its tributaries. The terminology of the facial artery tributaries was revisited with reference to the Terminologica Anatomica and novel nomenclature was suggested with anatomical features. The tributaries to the lower lip (inferior labial artery), labiomental region (horizontal and vertical labiomental artery), upper lip (superior labial artery), nose (inferior and lateral alar artery and nasal septal artery), angular and ocular region (angular artery and detoured branch) and the course, layers and location of the facial artery main trunk were revisited with contemporary anatomical studies. The facial artery and its tributaries have close topographical connections to the facial expression muscles, nasolabial groove, and vermilion border, and these also distinguish facial landmarks comprising the cheilion, stomion, and gonion. Interestingly, in contrast to previous descriptions, some terminal branches did not take a straight course but a detoured course. The angular artery was connected to the ophthalmic artery branches and in some cases did not originate from the facial artery. Vascular complications of the facial artery tributaries are frequently seen in the angular, dorsum of the nose, tip of the nose, and glabellar region. This detailed review focusing on facial arterial topography in the various areas of the face would help to enhance quality of treatment. Clin. Anat. 31:99-108, 2018.


anatomy; anatomy of the facial artery; arterial branching pattern of facial artery; clinical implication; facial artery

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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