Morphology of the Zygomaticus Minor and Its Relationship With the Orbicularis Oculi Muscle

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to examine in detail the anatomic variations in the orbicularis oculi muscle (OOc) and relationship of the zygomaticus minor muscle (ZMi) with the OOc, thereby providing an anatomic basis for explaining facial animation and attachment to the periorbital muscle. Sixty-one hemifaces from embalmed Korean adult cadavers (34 males, 27 females; age range, 45–85 years; mean age, 62.6 years) were used in this study. The prevalence of cases in which the ZMi did not run straight from the upper lip, rather running straight to the corner of the levator labii superioris, was 36.1% (22/61), because the origin of ZMi covered the inferior border of the OOc. The prevalence of mixing of the belly of the orbital part of the outer edge of the OOc with the ZMi was 88.5%, and that of blending of the ZMi band into the lower inner corner of the OOc was 55.7%. The area of blending of the OOc and ZMi was located 17.8 mm down from the Frankfort plane and 8.9 mm lateral to the vertical line between the lateral canthus and the Frankfort plane in the lateral part of the OOc. At this position, the mixed belly extends medially for a distance of 16 mm. This research has identified the exact location where the ZMi and OOc blend and determined the relationship between the ZMi and the suborbicularis oculi fat. This result will be given as basic data for understanding facial expressions and for performing composite rhytidectomy.

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