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Anatomy Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 794682, 5 pages
Research Article

The Superficial Musculoaponeurotic System of the Face: A Model Explored

Faculty of Health Sciences, Curtin University, P.O. Box U1987, Perth, WA 6845, Australia

Received 2 July 2013; Revised 10 September 2013; Accepted 26 September 2013

Academic Editor: Iwao Sato

Copyright © 2013 M. Broughton and G. M. Fyfe. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Regional differences in the integument of the body are explained, at least in part, by differences in fascial arrangements. In the face, where the skin is more mobile due to the action of the underlying facial muscles, fascial organisation is important for support and separation of muscle groups. This study used bequeathed cadaver material to investigate a current model of the SMAS proposed by Macchi et al., the original boundaries of which were explored and extended using both histology and gross dissection. As a clearly identifiable structure spanning the lateral and midface, the SMAS in the specimen supported the model proposed by Macchi et al. The three main findings that support the model were the layered morphological appearance of the SMAS, its progression from fibrous to aponeurotic in a lateral to medial direction, and the enveloping of the zygomaticus musculature. Extension beyond the proposed model into the temporal region was observed, but nasal and forehead regions showed no evidence of SMAS, while its presence in the cervical platysma region remained inconclusive. Fascial and soft tissue variability was considerable within facial regions of the examined specimen, helping to explain the debate around the SMAS in the literature.