Anatomy of the fasciae and fascial spaces of the maxillofacial and the anterior neck regions, 2018

Topics: Fascia, Fascial space, Gross anatomy, Maxillofacial region, Anterior neck

Authors: Seiichiro Kitamura


This review provides an overview of comprehensive knowledge regarding the anatomy of the fasciae and fascial spaces of the maxillofacial and the anterior neck regions, principally from the standpoint of oral surgery, whose descriptions have long been puzzling and descriptively much too complex. The maxillofacial and the anterior neck regions are divided into four portions: the portions superficial and deep to the superficial layer of the deep cervical fascia (SfDCF) including its rostral extension to the face, the intermediate portion sandwiched by the splitting SfDCF, and the superficial portion peculiar to the face where the deep structures open on the body surface to form the oral cavity. Different fascial spaces are contained in each of the portions, although the spaces belonging to the portion of the same depth communicate freely with each other. The spaces of the superficial portions are adjacent to the oral cavity and constitute the starting point of deep infections from that cavity. The spaces of the intermediate portion lie around the mandible and occupy the position connecting the superficial and deep portions. Among these spaces, the submandibular and prestyloid spaces play an important role as relay stations conveying the infections into the deep portion. The spaces of the deep portion lie near the cervical viscera and communicate inferiorly with the superior mediastinum, among which the poststyloid space plays a role as a reception center of the infections and conveys the infections into the superior mediastinum particularly by way of the retrovisceral space and the carotid sheath.

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