Cutaneous branch of the nerve to the mylohyoid muscle: Potential cause of postoperative sensory alteration in the submental area

Joe Iwanaga, Soichiro Ibaragi, Tatsuo Okui, Vasu Divi, Yoshio Ohyama, Koichi Watanabe, Jingo Kusukawa, R. Shane Tubbs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Previous studies suggest that the nerve to the mylohyoid muscle could have a cutaneous branch. However, its clinical relevance has rarely been discussed because there is insufficient evidence for it. Our aim in this study was to investigate the anatomy of the cutaneous branch of the nerve to the mylohyoid muscle and extend the discussion to surgical management. Methods: Twenty sides from ten embalmed cadaveric heads were dissected to identify the cutaneous branch of the nerve to the mylohyoid muscle. The cutaneous branch was traced up to its termination. Results: The cutaneous branch was observed in 90% and classified into types I and II. In type I, the terminal trunk reached the anterior belly of the digastric muscle. In type II there were two types of terminal trunks, superior and inferior branches, which were identified on all sides. The number of the terminal trunk was one in 23.1% (type I; 6/26) and two in 76.9% (type II; 20/26). The terminal points of the cutaneous branch were all located within a 3 cm × 2 cm rectangular segment in the center of the submental area. Conclusions: We propose a new dermatome including the nerve to the mylohyoid muscle in the center. Understanding the cutaneous branch of the nerve could help surgeons to prevent iatrogenic sensory loss of the submental area.

Original languageEnglish
Article number151934
JournalAnnals of Anatomy
Volume243
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Anatomy
  • Cadaver
  • Head and neck surgery
  • Nerve to mylohyoid muscle
  • Reconstructive surgery
  • Submental island flap

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Developmental Biology

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