Mapping the Vascular and Muscular Topography of the Glabellar Region: Implication for Improving Safety and Efficacy of the Glabellar Injections


Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00266-023-03708-1
  • Journal Name: Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, EMBASE
  • Keywords: Anatomy, Filler, Glabella, Injection, Safe
  • Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University Affiliated: No


Background: Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) and filler injections into the highly vascularized glabellar region for aesthetical purposes are extremely common. Injections into the glabellar region without precise anatomical knowledge of its vascular and muscular topography may pose the risk of severe complications. Objectives: We aimed to improve the safety and efficacy of the glabellar injections by mapping the regional muscles and vasculature in relation to the medial canthus and the defined reference lines. Methods: Meticulous dissection was performed to reveal glabellar region muscles and arteries under surgical microscope, in 16 hemifaces of whom arteries are injected with red-dyed latex. Location of the angular artery (AA) along with its branches was noted in relation to glabellar muscles. Results: The AA was always located superficial to the levator labii superioris alaeque nasi muscle (LLSAN) and then coursed toward the medial canthus to anastomose with the supratrochlear artery deep to the origin of the depressor supercilii (DS). The AA gave subcutaneously located central and paracentral branches coursing close to the mid-face line in 14 out of 16 hemifaces. Variable muscular connections were also present between the LLSAN, the DS and the procerus (P) muscles. No arteries were detected at the base of the medial eyebrow to which the DS, the P, and the frontalis (F) inserted. Conclusions: This study provides a detailed map of muscular and vascular anatomy of the glabellar region to facilitate safe and efficient filler and BoNT injections without complications. No Level Assigned: This journal requires that authors assign a level of evidence to each submission to which Evidence-Based Medicine rankings are applicable. This excludes Review Articles, Book Reviews, and manuscripts that concern Basic Science, Animal Studies, Cadaver Studies, and Experimental Studies. For a full description of these Evidence-Based Medicine ratings, please refer to the Table of Contents or the online Instructions to Authors .