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Original article
Submitted: 2023-08-16
Accepted: 2023-10-23
Published online: 2023-11-08
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The topographical anatomy of the posterior auricular artery: a computed tomography angiography analysis with implications for reconstructive surgery

Mateusz Trzeciak1, Patryk Ostrowski12, Michał Bonczar12, Alicia del Carmen Yika1, Kinga Glądys1, Ahmed Elsaftawy3, Wadim Wojciechowski4, Mateusz Koziej12, Jerzy Walocha12, Artur Pasternak1
·
Pubmed: 37957932
Affiliations
  1. Department of Anatomy, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Krakow, Poland
  2. Youthoria, Youth Research Organization, Krakow, Poland
  3. Department of Plastic and Hand Surgery, Trzebnica, Poland
  4. Department of Radiology, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Krakow, Poland

open access

Ahead of Print
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Submitted: 2023-08-16
Accepted: 2023-10-23
Published online: 2023-11-08

Abstract

Background: The anatomy of the posterior auricular artery (PAA) is highly variable and relevant in various plastic and reconstructive procedures.

Materials and methods: The results of 55 consecutive patients who underwent head and neck computed tomography angiography (CTA) were analyzed. A total of 78 hemifaces were evaluated. The analysis has been performed in 19 categories.

Results: Median PAA length was found to be 47.59 mm (LQ = 32.75; HQ = 56.16). The median PAA diameter (at its origin) was established at 2.55 mm (LQ = 2.29; HQ = 2.90). Moreover, the median PAA cross-sectional area (at its origin) was set to be 3.22 mm (LQ = 2.49; HQ = 4.13). Sexual dimorphism regarding all of the measured parameters was also evaluated. Statistically significant differences (p ≤ 0.05) were found in 13 of the measured categories.

Conclusions: The present study demonstrated the complete anatomy of the PAA. The most frequent origin of the said artery was from the ECA, and its mean length was 45.07 mm; which did not differ between males and females significantly (p>0.05). Moreover, we have provided surgeons with tools to localize this artery pre- and intraoperatively using simple landmarks, namely the apex of the mastoid process and the center of the external acoustic meatus. The exact position of the origin of the PAA was also demonstrated by a heat map of the auricular region. Our findings have the potential to assist surgeons in developing a mental visualization of the arterial anatomy of the retroauricular region. This visualization can be instrumental in precisely identifying the location of the PAA during reconstructive surgeries, thereby minimizing complications and enhancing surgical outcomes.

Abstract

Background: The anatomy of the posterior auricular artery (PAA) is highly variable and relevant in various plastic and reconstructive procedures.

Materials and methods: The results of 55 consecutive patients who underwent head and neck computed tomography angiography (CTA) were analyzed. A total of 78 hemifaces were evaluated. The analysis has been performed in 19 categories.

Results: Median PAA length was found to be 47.59 mm (LQ = 32.75; HQ = 56.16). The median PAA diameter (at its origin) was established at 2.55 mm (LQ = 2.29; HQ = 2.90). Moreover, the median PAA cross-sectional area (at its origin) was set to be 3.22 mm (LQ = 2.49; HQ = 4.13). Sexual dimorphism regarding all of the measured parameters was also evaluated. Statistically significant differences (p ≤ 0.05) were found in 13 of the measured categories.

Conclusions: The present study demonstrated the complete anatomy of the PAA. The most frequent origin of the said artery was from the ECA, and its mean length was 45.07 mm; which did not differ between males and females significantly (p>0.05). Moreover, we have provided surgeons with tools to localize this artery pre- and intraoperatively using simple landmarks, namely the apex of the mastoid process and the center of the external acoustic meatus. The exact position of the origin of the PAA was also demonstrated by a heat map of the auricular region. Our findings have the potential to assist surgeons in developing a mental visualization of the arterial anatomy of the retroauricular region. This visualization can be instrumental in precisely identifying the location of the PAA during reconstructive surgeries, thereby minimizing complications and enhancing surgical outcomes.

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Keywords

posterior auricular artery, head and neck surgery, retroauricular, anatomy

About this article
Title

The topographical anatomy of the posterior auricular artery: a computed tomography angiography analysis with implications for reconstructive surgery

Journal

Folia Morphologica

Issue

Ahead of Print

Article type

Original article

Published online

2023-11-08

Page views

186

Article views/downloads

154

DOI

10.5603/fm.96993

Pubmed

37957932

Keywords

posterior auricular artery
head and neck surgery
retroauricular
anatomy

Authors

Mateusz Trzeciak
Patryk Ostrowski
Michał Bonczar
Alicia del Carmen Yika
Kinga Glądys
Ahmed Elsaftawy
Wadim Wojciechowski
Mateusz Koziej
Jerzy Walocha
Artur Pasternak

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