Facial Vein Variation: A Cadaveric Study
Background: The veins of the head and neck have a complex developmental pattern which predisposes them to variations in formation and drainage. Superficial veins of the head and neck are utilized for central venous cannulation, oral reconstruction and parenteral nutrition in debilitated patients. Clinical and sonological examinations of these veins may provide clues toward underlying cardiac pathology.
Aims: The aim of the present study was to describe anatomical variation and determined the position of the facial vein in relation to neighboring structures.
Methods and Findings: Head and neck region were carefully dissected as per standard dissection procedure, studied serially during the years 2013-2017 in 16 males and 2 females, i.e. 36 sides, embalmed adults cadavers with different age group, in the laboratory of Morphology of the University of Pamplona. In 34 sides (94.5 %) of the cases the facial vein (FV) terminated into the internal jugular vein via the common facial vein (CFV) as per standard anatomic description. The facial vein on two sides (5.5 %) was found to drain into the external jugular vein with different degree of angulations and variable distance from the angle of the mandible. On the right side, the facial vein was draining into external jugular vein (EJV), 63.6 mm below the angle of the mandible. On the left side, the facial vein was draining into EJV, 42.4 mm below the angle of the mandible. The length of the neck was 137.8 mm. The mean distance of the superior and inferior labial veins, deep facial vein, and angular vein from the inferior orbital margin was 41.89 ± 3.01, 52.31 ± 3.72, 26.85 ± 3.55 and 6.25 ± 0.65 mm, respectively.
Conclusion: A sound knowledge on variation of the course and termination of facial vein is very useful for oral and maxillofacial surgeons, plastic surgeons, otorrhinologists and radiologists, is essentially important in the clinical examination and surgical procedures of the head and neck region.
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