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Laboratory Identifications and Relations - Cervical Fascia

The College of Medicine at The Pennsylvania State University


[ SBMP ] [ Cervical Fascia ] [ Posterior Triangle ] [ Anterior Triangle ]

Cervical Investing Fascia Attachments and Specialization

  1. from posterior cervical spines (nuchal ligament)
  2. envelopes trapezius and sternocleidomastoid muscles
  3. envelopes strap muscles
  4. envelopes parotid gland (parotid fascia) and submandibular gland
  5. superior limits - mandible anterior, scalp posterior
  6. inferior limits - sternum, clavical, acromion, vertebra prominens
  7. creates a continuous collar (carpet)

Pretracheal Visceral Fascia Attachments and Specialization

  1. surrounds the cervical viscera - thyroid gland, trachea, esophagus, recurrent laryngeal nerves
  2. posterior: buccopharyngeal fascia (named part of pretrachael visceral fascia)
  3. superior limit - thyroid cartilage
  4. inferior limit - superior/anterior mediastinum

Prevertebral Fascia Attachments and Specialization

  1. surrounds the intrinsical musculature of the cervical vertebral column
  2. attached to the spinous processes of the cervical vertebrae
  3. partly covers splenius captius, levator scapula, scalene muscles, longus colli, longus capitus, anterior vertebral bodies
  4. superior limit - base of skull near pharyngeal tubercle
  5. inferior limit - continuous throughout thorax
  6. alar layer of prevertebral fascia - second layer of prevertebral fascia attached to transverse processes, border for "danger space"
  7. diverticulum of prevertebral fascia at interscalene triangle forms the axillary sheath
    1. space defined by axillary sheath is continuous with space defined by prevertebral fascia
    2. * anesthesia of brachial plexus could block phrenic nerve - watch out for bilateral effects!

Spaces Defined by Cervical Fascias

  1. pretracheal space - defined by the collar of pretracheal fascia
    1. from thyroid cartilage to superior mediastinum
  2. retropharyngeal space - defined by pretracheal visceral fascia (buccopharyngeal fascia part) and prevertebral fascia
    1. extends from the pharyngeal tubercle to the posterior mediastinum (where alar fascia blends with visceral fascia)
    2. especially important for considerations of spread infection
    3. infections can enter this space through compromise of the buccopharyngeal fascia (the "throat")
  3. danger space - between alar layer of prevertebral fascia and prevertebral fascia
    1. from base of skull (pharyngeal tubercle) and extending inferiorly throughout the thorax

Related Structures

  1. Platysma muscle
  2. Sternocleidomastoid muscle
  3. Superficial investing (cervical) fascia
  4. Prevertebral fascia
  5. Platysma muscle
  6. Sternocleidomastoid muscle
  7. Trapezius muscle
  8. Superficial investing (cervical) fascia
  9. Prevertebral fascia
  10. Alar fascia
  11. Carotid sheath
  12. Common carotid artery
  13. Internal jugular vein
  14. Vagus nerve (CN 10)
  15. Pretracheal visceral fascia
  16. Buccopharyngeal visceral fascia
  17. Thyroid gland
  1. Trachea
  2. Esophagus
  3. Recurrent laryngeal nerve
  4. Retropharyngeal space (retrovisceral)
  5. Levator Scapula
  6. Scalenus anterior
  7. Scalenus medius
  8. Scalenus posterior
  9. Ventral ramus brachial plexus (C8)
  10. Phrenic Nerve
  11. Sympathetic trunk
  12. Sternohyoid muscle
  13. Sternothyoid muscle
  14. Omohyoid muscles (anterior belly)
  15. "Danger Space"
  16. Longus Colli Muscle
  17. Pretracheal space

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The Structural Basis of Medical Practice - Human Gross Anatomy
The College of Medicine of the The Pennsylvania State University
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