Bilateral supernumerary clavicular heads of sternocleidomastoid muscle in a Korean female cadaver

  • Ji-Su Oh
  • Chae-Eun Kim
  • Jinu Kim
  • Sang-Pil YoonEmail author
Anatomic Variations


Many anatomical variants on the sternocleidomastoid muscle have been reported. In this study, supernumerary clavicular heads of sternocleidomastoid muscle in a Korean female cadaver were bilaterally displayed. The observed supernumerary heads were classified as follows: one sterno-mastoid, one cleido-occipital and one cleido-mastoid on the right side, and one sterno-mastoid-occipital, four cleido-occipitals, and one cleido-mastoid on the left side. The sterno-mastoid and sterno-mastoid-occipital and the cleido-occipital made the superficial layer of the sternocleidomastoid muscle, while others made deep layer. We discussed clinical relevance and developmental basis of these muscular variations important for clinicians and anatomists.


Sternocleidomastoid Superficial layer Development Variation 



This research was supported by the 2019 scientific promotion program funded by Jeju National University.

Author contributions

Oh JS and Kim CE found the case and acquired the primitive data. Kim J and Yoon SP analyzed the data and references. Oh JS and Kim CE wrote the manuscript. Oh JS, Kim J, and Yoon SP revised the manuscript. All authors approved the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

None declared.


  1. 1.
    Anıl A, Yasar YK, Anil F, Coskun ZK, Peker T (2017) Variation of bilateral multiheaded sternocleidomastoid muscle. Gazi Med J 28:56–57. Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Coskun N, Yildirim FB, Ozkan O (2002) Multiple muscular variations in the neck region—case study. Folia Morphol 61:317–319Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Hasan T (2010) Variations of the sternocleidomastoid muscle: a literature review. Internet J Hum Anat 2:1–6Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Hurtado DKA, Arquez HF (2016) Bilateral supernumerary sternocleidomastoid heads with clinical and surgical implications. J Chem Pharm Res 8:527–537Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Kaur D, Jain M, Shukla L (2013) Six heads of origin of sternocleidomastoid muscle: a rare case. Internet J Med Update 8:62–64. Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Kim J, Shin ES, Kim JE, Yoon SP, Kim YS (2015) Neck muscle atrophy and soft-tissue fibrosis after neck dissection and postoperative radiotherapy for oral cancer. Radiat Oncol J 33:344–349. CrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Kim SY, Jang HB, Kim J, Yoon SP (2015) Bilateral four heads of the sternocleidomastoid muscle. Surg Radiol Anat 37:871–873. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Lee HY, Yang HJ (2016) Anterior Neck Muscles. In: Tubbs RS, Shoja MM, Loukas M (eds) Bergman’s comprehensive encyclopedia of human anatomic variation. Wiley, Hoboken, pp 228–235. Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Matsuoka T, Ahlberg PE, Kessaris N, Lannarelli P, Dennehy U, Richardson WD, Mc Mohan AP, Koentges G (2005) Neural crest origins of neck and shoulder. Nature 436:347–355. CrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    McKenzie J (1962) The development of the sternomastoid and trapezius muscles. Carnegie Inst Wash Publ No 621 Contrib Embryol 37:121–129Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Natsis K, Asouchidou I, Vasileiou M, Papathanasiou E, Noussios G, Paraskevas G (2009) A rare case of bilateral supernumerary heads of sternocleidomastoid muscle and its clinical impact. Folia Morphol (Warsz) 68:52–54Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Nayak SR, Krishnamurthy A, Sj MK, Pai MM, Prabhu LV, Jetti R (2006) A rare case of bilateral sternocleidomastoid muscle variation. Morphologie 90:203–204CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Özgüner G, Bilkay C, Koyuncu E, Sulak O (2015) Bilateral üç başlı musculus sternocleidomastoideus: Olgu sunumu. SDÜ Tıp Fakültesi Dergisi 22:49–52Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Prakash S, Ojha P, Gupta G (2013) Bilateral additional head of sternocleidomastoid muscle—a case report. Int J Curr Res Res 5:62–63Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Raikos A, Paraskevas G, Triaridis S, Kordali P, Psillas G, Brand-Saberi B (2012) Bilateral supernumerary sternocleidomastoid heads with critical narrowing of the minor and major supraclavicular fossae: clinical and surgical implications. Int J Morphol 30:927–933CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Ramesh Rao T, Vishnumaya G, Prakashchandra Shetty K, Suresh R (2007) Variation in the origin of sternocleidomastoid muscle. A case report. Int J Morphol 25:621–623Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Saha A, Mandal S, Chakraborty S, Bandyopadhyay M (2014) Morphological study of the attachment of the sternocleidomastoid muscle. Singapore Med J 55:45–47. PubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Sanli EC, Kurtoglu Z, Ozturk AH, Aktekin M (2006) Detailed anatomy of five parts of the sterno-cleidomastoid muscle. Neuroanatomy 5(Suppl 2):29Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Singh S, Chauhan P, Loh HK, Mehta V, Suri RK (2017) Absence of posterior triangle: clinical and embryological perspective. J Clin Diagn Res 11:AD01–AD02. PubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Som PM, Laitman JT (2017) Embryology, variations, and innervations of the human neck muscles. Neurographics 7:215–242. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Sudarshan S, Nayak SB, Reghunathan D, Nelluri VM (2016) Sternocleiodomastoid muscle with five fleshy bellies and thirteen heads of origin. Online J Health Allied Scs 15:11Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Testut L (1884) Les anomalies musculaires chez l’homme: expliquées par l’anatomie comparée leur importance en anthropologie In. G. Masson, ParisGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Medical Course, School of MedicineJeju National UniversityJeju-DoRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Anatomy, School of MedicineJeju National UniversityJeju-DoRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Department of Anatomy, School of Medicine, Institute for Medical ScienceJeju National UniversityJeju-DoRepublic of Korea

Personalised recommendations