Surgical Anatomy of the Vascularization and Innervation of the Human Scalp

  • Fulvio Barbaro
  • Elena Bassi
  • Roberto ToniEmail author


The arterial, venous, and lymphatic vessels as well as sensory and motor nerves of the human scalp depict a very consistent and stable topographical anatomy. They are organized as “stripes” of neurovascular structures with well-defined medial-lateral and cranial-caudal orientation, whose distribution on the surface of the head and contiguous facial and neck areas can be predicted in relation to the major anatomical bone landmarks of the face and cranial vault in anterior, lateral, posterior, and superior projections. As such, anatomo-surgical dissection of each neurovascular pedicle can be promptly achieved. In addition, two main neurovascular fields can be identified by a frontal plane passing just ahead of the auricles, whose anterior one is provided exclusively by branches of the internal carotid artery (with related veins and lymphatics) and trigeminal nerve whereas the posterior one by branches of the external carotid artery (with related veins and lymphatics) but both the trigeminal nerve and cervical plexus. Finally, the same motor innervation involves both anterior and posterior neurovascular fields, is provided by branches of the facial nerve, and concerns the epicranius muscle.


Scalp Aponeurosis epicranialis External carotid artery Internal carotid artery Internal jugular vein Cervical lymph nodes Trigeminal nerve Cervical plexus Facial nerve Skull 



The authors like to express their sincere appreciation to the technical competence of Davide Dallatana and Giovanni Calori, UNIPR, who realized the entire imaging project using a mirrorless micro 4/3 camera, 40 megapixel “sensor-shift” resolution, and 50 mm manual focus. Partly supported by grant FIL-UNIPR 2018.

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Section of Human Anatomy, and Museum and Historical Library of Biomedicine—BIOMED, Unit of Biomedical, Biotechnological and Translational Sciences (S.BI.BI.T.), Department of Medicine and Surgery—DIMECUniversity of Parma—UNIPRParmaItaly
  2. 2.Medical Center Galliera (CMG)BolognaItaly
  3. 3.Center for Sport and Exercise Medicine (SEM)University of ParmaParmaItaly
  4. 4.Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, Department of Medicine, Tufts Medical CenterTufts University School of MedicineBostonUSA

Personalised recommendations