External and Internal Diameters of the Facial Artery Relevant to Intravascular Filler Injection

Vision loss and skin necrosis caused by an accidental intraarterial embolism or vascular compression are rare but devastating complications when injecting filler materials into the face.
The external and internal diameters and wall thicknesses of the facial artery and its branches were measured from 41 formalin-embalmed cadavers after removing connective tissues attached to the arterial wall.
The diameter and thickness of the facial artery exhibited significant interregional differences. The external and internal diameters of the facial artery were 1.9 ± 0.4 and 1.2 ± 0.3 mm (mean ± SD), respectively, at the inferior border of the mandible; 1.7 ± 0.3 and 1.2 ± 0.3 mm in the vicinity of the inferior labial artery; 1.5 ± 0.3 and 1.0 ± 0.3 mm at the mouth corner; 1.4 ± 0.3 and 0.9 ± 0.2 mm in the vicinity of the superior labial artery; and 1.1 ± 0.2 and 0.7 ± 0.2 mm in the vicinity of the lateral nasal artery. The external and internal diameters at the proximal parts of the inferior labial artery, superior labial artery, and lateral nasal artery were 1.0 ± 0.3 and 0.6 ± 0.2 mm, 0.9 ± 0.3 and 0.6 ± 0.2 mm, and 0.8 ± 0.2 and 0.5 ± 0.2 mm, respectively.
Morphometric examinations of the facial artery under stereomicroscope observation as performed in the present study are expected to be more accurate than direct measurements obtained during cadaveric dissection or conventional histologic evaluations.

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