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J Anat. 1996 Oct;189 ( Pt 2):431-8.

The blood supply of the human temporalis muscle: a vascular corrosion cast study.

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Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, University of Hong Kong.


Knowledge as to the blood supply of the human temporalis muscle is limited to its extramuscular path and relations, little information existing about the intramuscular vascular architecture. To investigate the 3-dimensional vascular network in the human temporalis muscle, in 5 fresh cadavers an infusion of methylmethacrylate resin was made via the carotid vessels with subsequent removal of the organic tissues by a corrosion process. The vascular corrosion casts of the temporalis muscle were studied by stereomicroscopy and scanning electron microscopy. In 6 well perfused muscle specimens, the temporalis muscle was found to be consistently supplied by 3 arteries: the anterior and posterior deep temporal arteries, and the middle temporal artery. Each primary artery branched into the secondary arterioles and then terminal arterioles. The venous network accompanied the arteries, and double veins pairing a single artery was a common finding. Arteriovenous anastomosis was absent, whereas arterioarterial and venovenous anastomoses were common. The capillaries formed a dense interlacing network with an orientation along the muscle fibres. Understanding of the intramuscular angioarchitecture of the temporalis provides the vascular basis for surgical flap manipulation and splitting design.

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