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The definition of the V zone for the safety space of functional surgery of the tongue

Authors

  • Tiening Hou MD,

    1. Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Affiliated Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital, Medical College, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China
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  • Jinyan Shao MS,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Affiliated Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital, Medical College, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China
    • Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Affiliated Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital, Medical College, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310016, China
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  • Songhua Fang MD

    1. Department of Radiology, Affiliated Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital, Medical College, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China
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  • The authors have no funding, financial relationships, or conflicts of interest to disclose.

  • Editor's Note: This Manuscript was accepted for publication August 8, 2011.

Abstract

Objectives/Hypothesis:

To define safety space for functional surgery of the tongue.

Study Design:

Prospective nonrandomized study.

Methods:

Computed tomographic angiography of the lingual artery was performed in 107 in-patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome and 17 controls. The safety space was ascertained according to the course of lingual artery.

Results:

The course of the lingual artery, termed the Big Dipper bowl of the tongue, was similar in each group. The tissue above the lingual artery and the vacuity of the hypoglossal/lingual artery neurovascular bundle (HLNVB) formed a three-dimensional structure. The anterior part was named the V prozone. Its anterior border was the tangent plane of the deep lingual artery, its posterior border the circumvallate papilla, its width the interval of bilateral margins at the corresponding parts of the tongue, and its height the level of the middle lingual frenulum. The posterior portion between the bilateral dorsal arteries in the tongue base was named the V postzone. Its width was 31.42 ± 3.82 mm when the tongue was in a resting position, and its height was the distance from the foramen cecum to the bottom of the epiglottic vallecula. The inferior part under the intrinsic lingual muscles was named the hypoglossal floor. It is a relatively restricted surgery zone.

Conclusions:

The V zone of the tongue without HLNVB travelling provides enough of safety space for functional surgery on the tongue.Laryngoscope, 122:66–70, 2012

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