Surgical and Radiologic Anatomy

, Volume 39, Issue 3, pp 271–279 | Cite as

Anatomic study of the musculus longus capitis flap

  • Xiang–yu Zhang
  • Ting–ting Ma
  • Lei Liu
  • Ning–bei Yin
  • Zhen–min ZhaoEmail author
Original Article



To clearly delineate the anatomy of the musculus longus capitis, determine its clinical applications for reconstruction surgery, and provide a safer surgical method of developing the longus capitis muscle flap.


Anatomical investigations were performed in seven adult cadavers (five cadavers for gross anatomy and two for transparent specimen preparation) with respect to the location, morphology, arterial supply, and innervation of the musculus longus capitis, as well as its spatial relationship with the cervical sympathetic trunk, superior cervical ganglion, carotid sheath, and other surrounding structures.


The musculus longus capitis is located anterior to the C1–6 vertebrae, segmentally supplied by branches of the ascending cervical artery, innervated by the C1–5 nerve, and spatially close to the cervical sympathetic trunk, superior cervical ganglion, and carotid sheath. These anatomic findings indicate that the development of a cranial or caudal pedicled longus capitis muscle flap is feasible.


The musculus longus capitis can be developed into a cranial or caudal pedicled flap for repair of head and neck defects with negligible morbidity of the donor site.


Anatomy Musculus longus capitis Flap Neck Soft tissues 



The authors thank Professor Yi-ping Yan from the Department of Anatomy, and Professor Min Zhao from the Department of Cleft Lip and Palate, Plastic Surgery Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, for the help in cadavers dissection and transparent specimen preparation.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag France 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Cleft Lip and Palate, Plastic Surgery HospitalChinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical CollegeBeijingChina
  2. 2.Department of Breast Surgery, Qilu HospitalShandong UniversityJinanChina

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