Suprahyoid neck fascial configuration, especially in the posterior compartment of the parapharyngeal space: A histological study using late-stage human fetuses

Yukio Katori, Tetsuaki Kawase, Kwang Ho Cho, Hiroshi Abe, Jose Francisco Rodríguez-Vázquez, Gen Murakami, Mineko Fujimiya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The fascial configuration in the suprahyoid parapharyngeal space was evaluated using semiserial sagittal sections of 15 late-stage human fetal heads. The prevertebral fascia covered the longus colli, longus capitis, and rectus capitis lateralis muscles, but was most evident along the longus colli muscle. The carotid sheath and its extension were located around the internal and external carotid arteries and the lower cranial nerves. The superior cervical ganglion was also inside the sheath. Even near full term, the fetal suprahyoid neck was short, with the jugular foramen and hypoglossal canal located at the posterolateral side of the oropharynx. Thus, the glossopharyngeal and accessory nerves ran across the upper part of the carotid sheath. Fasciae of the stylopharyngeus, styloglossus, and stylohyoideus muscles were attached to and joined the anterosuperior aspect of the carotid sheath. All these neurovascular and muscle sheaths are communicated with the visceral fascia covering the pharynx at multiple sites, and, together, they formed a mesentery-like bundle. This communication bundle was made narrow by the anteriorly protruding longus capitis muscle. The mesentery-like bundle was covered by the posterior marginal fascia of the prestyloid compartment of the parapharyngeal space. The external carotid artery ran on the lateral and posterior sides of the posterior marginal fascia. Consequently, the typical carotid sheath configuration was modified by muscle sheaths from the styloid process, communicated with the visceral fascia and, anteriorly, constituted the posterior margin of the prestyloid space. Clin. Anat. 2013.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-212
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Anatomy
Volume26
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords

  • carotid sheath
  • deep cervical fascia
  • human fetuses
  • parapharyngeal space
  • prevertebral fascia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology

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