QS Study

Blood Supply of Scalp

The soft tissues covering the cranial vault are called the scalp. It refers to the layers of skin and subcutaneous tissue that cover the bones of the cranial vault. It is made up of the deep inner layer, the dermis, and the superficial layer, the epidermis.

Arterial supply – The blood vessels traverse the connective tissue layer, which receives a vascular contribution from the internal and external carotid arteries.

Blood Supply of Scalp 1

Fig: Arterial supply of scalp

(A) In front of the auricle: The scalp is supplied from before backward by the –

  1. Supratrochlear artery, a branch of the ophthalmic artery, br. of an internal carotid artery,
  2. Supraorbital artery, a branch of the ophthalmic artery, br. of the internal carotid artery,
  3. Superficial temporal artery, a branch of the external carotid artery.

(B) Behind the auricle: The scalp is supplied from before backward by the –

  1. Posterior auricular artery, branch of the external carotid artery,
  2. Occipital artery, branch of the external carotid artery.

Venous Drainage:

Blood Supply of Scalp 2

The scalp on every side of the midline is emptied by 5 veins. The veins of the scalp accompany the arteries and have similar names. All these are as follows:

(i) The supratrochlear & supraorbital veins unite to form the facial vein. They join each other at the medial angle of the eye to create the angular vein, which continues downwards as the facial vein behind the facial artery.

(ii) The superficial temporal vein, unite the maxillary vein to form the retromandibular vein. The anterior section unifies with the entire facial vein to create a common facial vein, which empties into the internal jugular vein.

(iii) The anterior division of retromandibular & facial vein unites to from common facial vein.

(iv) The posterior auricular vein unites with the posterior division of the retromandibular vein to form the external jugular vein.

(v) The occipital vein drains into the suboccipital venous plexus which drain into a vertebral vein or internal jugular vein. It ends in the suboccipital venous plexus.

The veins of the scalp freely anastomose with one another and are connected to the diploic veins of the skull bone and the intracranial venous sinuses by the valveless emissary veins.

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