'Valves' of the angular vein: Orbicularis oculi, depressor supercilii, and zygomaticus minor Article

Full Text via DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0276121 Web of Science: 000924819300111

Cited authors

  • Iwanaga J, Tubbs RS, Kim H, Hur MS


  • Objectives The aim of this study was to elucidate the positional relationship between the courses of the angular veins and the facial muscles, and the possible roles of the latter as alternative venous valves.Methods The angular veins of 44 specimens of embalmed Korean adult cadavers were examined. Facial muscles were studied to establish their relationships with the angular vein, including the orbicularis oculi (OOc), depressor supercilii (DS), zygomaticus minor (Zmi), zygomaticus major (Zmj), and levator labii superioris (LLS).Results In the upper face of all specimens, the angular vein passed through the DS and descended to the medial palpebral ligament. In the midface, it passed between the origin of the levator labii superioris alaeque nasi (LLSAN) and the inferior OOc fibers. The vein coursed along the deep surface of the inferior margin of the OOc in all specimens. At the level of the nasal ala, the course of the angular vein was classified into three types: in type I it passed between the LLS and Zmi (38.6%), in type II it passed between the superficial and deep fibers of the Zmi (47.7%), and in type III it passed between the Zmi and Zmj (13.6%). In the lower face of all specimens, the angular or facial vein passed through the anterior lobe of the buccal fat pad.Conclusion This study found that the angular vein coursed along the sites where facial muscle contractions are assumed to efficiently compress the veins, likely controlling venous flow as valves. The observations made and analysis performed in this study will improve the understanding of the physiological function of the facial muscles as alternative venous valves.

Publication date

  • 2022

Published in

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1932-6203

Number of pages

  • 8


  • 17


  • 10