The marginal mandibular branch of the facial nerve in Koreans

Deog Im Kim, Seong Han Nam, Yong Seok Nam, Kyu Seok Lee, Rak Hee Chung, Seung Ho Han

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The marginal mandibular branch (MMB) has a particular risk of injury during surgical procedures in the submandibular region, especially over the lower border of the mandible. The facial nerve has been described in many studies, but the MMB is dealt with generally as a branch of the facial nerve. The purpose of this study was to document the anatomy of the MMB by correlation with anatomical landmarks. Eighty-five facial halves were examined for this study. The MMB was classified according to the number of branches and their connections with other branches, and by its relationship with landmarks of the gonion, facial artery, and retromandibular vein. The MMB showed one (28%), two (52%), three (18%), or four branches (2%) where it exited the parotid gland. Classification was based on connection with other branches. Type I (60%) did not communicate with other branches. Type II (40%) communicated with the buccal or cervical branches, or with another branch of the MMB. The cervicofacial division coursed along the lateral aspect of the retromandibular vein in 83% of specimens. The MMB passed the facial artery superficially (42%), passed it deeply in 4%, and ran on both sides of it in 54% of the facial halves. The distribution of the MMB formed a quadrilateral with angles +19.8 mm, 8.1 mm, +30.0 mm, and -15.3 mm measured from two sides on the inferior border of the mandible. These topographical data should help to decrease the incidence of injuries during surgery on the submandibular regions in Koreans. Clin. Anat. 22:207-214, 2009.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-214
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Anatomy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2009


  • Facial nerve
  • Koreans
  • Mandibular surgery
  • Marginal mandibular branch


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