Venous architecture of the glabellar to the forehead region



The precise venous anatomy of the glabellar to the forehead region remains unknown. This study aimed to detail the venous architecture of the glabellar region to the forehead in conjunction with that of the supratrochlear artery to reduce the risk of venous congestion of flaps in this area. Fifteen fresh human cadavers were examined here. In five specimens, contrast medium was injected only into the venous system; in 10 specimens, two different types of contrast media were injected into the arterial and venous systems, respectively. A total of 30 hemifacial specimens were radiographed stereoscopically and observed microscopically. In all the cadavers, a distinct vein (termed as the “transverse nasal root vein”) connected the bilateral angular veins. One or two large ascending veins branched from the transverse nasal root or angular vein, coursing toward the forehead skin. Numerous small veins branched out from the large ascending vein(s), forming a subdermal polygonal venous network. Small ascending veins arose from this network and coursed toward the dermis, draining venous flow from the dermis. Three different-sized valves prevented the reflux of blood in the venous pathway. The large ascending vein(s) and supratrochlear artery ran parallel only in the medial canthal area. Tiny venous vasa vasorum surrounded the adventitia of the supratrochlear artery and anastomosed with the polygonal venous network, while a few small veins from the vasa vasorum ascended toward the dermis. Understanding the venous architecture of this region is expected to facilitate the safe elevation of various flaps in the area. Clin. Anat. 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.