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, 37 (9), 1119-27

Is the Cervical Fascia an Anatomical Proteus?


Is the Cervical Fascia an Anatomical Proteus?

Gianfranco Natale et al. Surg Radiol Anat.


The cervical fasciae have always represented a matter of debate. Indeed, in the literature, it is quite impossible to find two authors reporting the same description of the neck fascia. In the present review, a historical background was outlined, confirming that the Malgaigne's definition of the cervical fascia as an anatomical Proteus is widely justified. In an attempt to provide an essential and a more comprehensive classification, a fixed pattern of description of cervical fasciae is proposed. Based on the morphogenetic criteria, two fascial groups have been recognized: (1) fasciae which derive from primitive fibro-muscular laminae (muscular fasciae or myofasciae); (2) fasciae which derive from connective thickening (visceral fasciae). Topographic and comparative approaches allowed to distinguish three different types of fasciae in the neck: the superficial, the deep and the visceral fasciae. The first is most connected to the skin, the second to the muscles and the third to the viscera. The muscular fascia could be further divided into three layers according to the relationship with the different muscles.

Keywords: Cervical fascia; Deep fascia; Superficial fascia; Visceral fascia.

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