The relative locations of the supraorbital, infraorbital, and mental foramina: A cadaveric study

Kathylin M. Hester, Omid B. Rahimi, Constance L. Fry, Haley L. Nation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to investigate the applicability of the current surgical guideline stating that the main facial foramina that transmit cutaneous nerves to the face (supraorbital notch/foramen, infraorbital foramen, and mental foramen) are equidistant from the midline in European and Hispanic populations. Previous studies suggest this surgical guideline is not applicable for all ethnicities; however, to our knowledge, no data have been published regarding the accuracy of this guideline pertaining to the Hispanic population. An experimental study was performed on 67 cadavers donated to the Human Anatomy Program at UT Health San Antonio. The supraorbital, infraorbital, and mental foramina were dissected and midline structures including the crista galli, internasal suture, anterior nasal spine, and mandibular symphysis were identified. The distance from each foramen to midline was recorded using a digital caliper. For all cadavers/ethnicities studied, the supraorbital, infraorbital, and mental foramina were 25.32 mm, 29.57 mm, and 25.55 mm to the midline, respectively. Thus, the infraorbital foramen is located significantly more lateral compared to the supraorbital (p < 0.0001) and mental foramina (p < 0.0001). After dividing the sample based on ethnicity, this relationship was also true for the European sample and tended to be true for the Hispanic sample. Significant anatomical variations exist in the current surgical guideline stating that the supraorbital foramen, infraorbital foramen, and mental foramen are equidistant from the midline. Clinicians may need to adjust their methodology during surgical procedures of the face in order to optimize patient care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)782-787
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Anatomy
Volume239
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2021

Keywords

  • cutaneous innervation
  • face
  • facial foramen
  • infraorbital foramen
  • mental foramen
  • supraorbital foramen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

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