Case report of unique anastomosis between facial and inferior alveolar arteries

  • Arunabh BhattacharyaEmail author
  • Ramaswamy Sharma
  • Caitlin Armstrong
  • Laura Solis
Anatomic Variations



Understanding anatomical variations of the facial artery and its branches is important for dental and medical practitioners.


Routine cadaveric dissection of the head and neck was performed to demonstrate the origin and branches of the facial artery.


Facial artery emerged from a common linguofacial trunk off the external carotid artery. On the face, the facial artery first gave off a pre-masseteric branch. Immediately after, an aberrant artery emerged from the facial artery that coursed along the ramus of the mandible, which upon further dissection and examination was found to anastomose with inferior alveolar artery within the ramus of the mandible.


We report a unique anastomosis between facial and inferior alveolar arteries, vessels that have not been previously shown to communicate. This case report may provide useful information for oral and maxillofacial surgeons as well as dentists performing inferior alveolar nerve blocks.


Facial artery Inferior alveolar artery Maxillary artery 



We would like to sincerely thank Dr. Omid Rahimi, Associate Professor, Department of Cell Systems and Anatomy, and Director, Human Anatomy Program, UT Health San Antonio for providing his support for the study.

Author contribution

AB was involved in dissection, writing and editing the manuscript, and preparing the specimen for photo documentation. RS was involved in writing/editing the manuscript and processing the photographs for publication. CA was involved in dissection. LS contributed to photo documentation and recording of the diameter of the aberrant artery.



Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


  1. 1.
    Ezure H, Mori R, Ito J, Otsuka N (2011) Case of a completely absent facial artery. IJAV 4:72–74Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Gonzalez CP, Gallardo CC, Torres PA, Galdames IS (2014) Lingual-facial trunk arising from the external carotid artery: a case report. Int J Morphol 32(3):1108–1110CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Gupta V, Agarwal R (2014) Anomalous branching pattern of the external carotid artery in cadavers. Int J Sci Stud 2(1):28–31Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Kishve PS, Kishve SP, Joshi M, Aarif SM, Kalakoti P (2011) An unusual branching pattern of common and external carotid artery in a human cadaver: a case report. Australas Med J 4(4):180–182CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Koh KS, Kim HJ, Oh CS, Chung IH (2003) Branching patterns and symmetry of the course of the facial artery in Koreans. Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg 32(4):414–418CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Kolte VS, Khambatta S, Ambiye MV (2014) Bilateral anatomical variation in the arterial supply of face involving the facial and transverse facial artery. Int J Anat Res 2(1):256–258Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Kumar A, Elumalai G, Thangamani M, Palayathan N, Singh MK (2014) A rare variation in facial artery and its implication in facial surgery: case report. J Surg 2(5):68–71CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Kumar N, Nayak SB, Shetty S, Guru A (2011) Unusual posterior (premasseteric) branch of facial artery a case report. IJAV 4:161–163Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Marx C, Kumar P, Reddy S, Vollala VR (2008) Bilateral variation of facial artery: a case report. Rom J Morphol Embryol 49(3):399–401PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Matsumoto M, Okuda H, Ishidoh E, Mitsui H (1986) An anomalous case of the common carotid artery giving off several branches and high division of the internal carotid artery. Okajimas Folia Anat Jpn 63(1):37–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Midy D, Mauru B, Vergnes P, Caliot P (1986) A contribution to the study of the facial artery, its branches and anastomoses; application to the anatomic vascular bases of facial flaps. Surg Radiol Anat 8(2):99–107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Rosse C, Gaddum-Rosse P (1997) Hollinshead’s textbook of anatomy, 5th edn. Lippincott-Raven, PhiladelphiaGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Somanath D (2015) Variation in the branching pattern of facial artery: premasseteric artery. Int J Anat Res 3(1):828–830CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Standring S (2009) Gray’s anatomy: the anatomical basis of clinical practice, 40th edn. Churchill Livingstone, Edinburgh, pp 490–491Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Zümre O, Salbacak A, Ciçekcibaşi AE, Tuncer I, Seker M (2005) Investigation of the bifurcation level of the common carotid artery and variations of the branches of the external carotid artery in human fetuses. Ann Anat 187(4):361–369CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Clinical and Applied Science EducationUniversity of the Incarnate Word School of Osteopathic MedicineSan AntonioUSA
  2. 2.Department of Cell Systems and AnatomyLong School of Medicine, UT Health San AntonioSan AntonioUSA
  3. 3.School of DentistryUT Health San AntonioSan AntonioUSA

Personalised recommendations