An Anatomical Guide to the Terminal Facial Artery: Lumen Diameter and Associated Anatomy Relevant to Dermatologic Procedures

Silas M. Money, Weston B. Wall, Loretta S. Davis, Anna C. Edmondson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Dermal filler injection in the vicinity of the terminal facial artery (FA) can lead to vascular compromise with devastating consequences, including tissue necrosis, blindness, and stroke. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to examine lumen diameter and other anatomical features of the terminal FA relevant to dermal filler injection. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Eighteen embalmed adult cadavers were dissected along the distribution of the terminal FA. Gross and microscopic measurements were taken at predetermined points in its course. RESULTS: Mean lumen diameter was largest at the midpoint between the oral commissure and the lateral supra-alar crease (0.81 ± 0.36 mm; point P1) and smallest at the midpoint between the lateral supra-alar crease and the medial canthus (0.43 ± 0.23 mm; point P3). Mean cutaneous depth was deepest at the lateral supra-alar crease (5.06 ± 1.84 mm; point P2) and most superficial at the midpoint between the lateral supra-alar crease and the medial canthus (3.13 ± 2.07 mm; point P3). CONCLUSION: The large-caliber lumen diameter of the terminal FA creates the potential for intra-arterial injection with commonly used filler needles and blunt-tipped cannulas at all points in its course in the nasolabial fold and midface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)797-801
Number of pages5
JournalDermatologic surgery : official publication for American Society for Dermatologic Surgery [et al.]
Volume47
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Dermatology

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