The Change of Plane of the Supratrochlear and Supraorbital Arteries in the Forehead-An Ultrasound-Based Investigation

Sebastian Cotofana*, Peter J. Velthuis, Michael Alfertshofer, Konstantin Frank, Vince Bertucci, Kate Beleznay, Arthur Swift, Diana L. Gavril, Nirusha Lachman, Leonie Schelke

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Injecting soft tissue fillers into the deep plane of the forehead carries the risk of injection-related visual compromise due to the specific course of the arterial vasculature. Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate the 2- A nd 3-dimensional location of the change of plane of the deep branch of the supratrochlear and supraorbital artery, respectively. Methods: A total of 50 patients (11 males and 39 females; mean age, 49.76 [13.8] years, mean body mass index, 22.53 [2.6] kg/m2) were investigated with ultrasound imaging. The total thickness and the distance of the arteries from the skin and bone surface were measured with an 18-MHz broadband compact linear array transducer. Results: The deep branch of the supraorbital artery changed plane from deep to superficial to the frontalis muscle at a mean distance of 13 mm (range, 7.0-19.0 mm) in males and at 14 mm (range, 4.0-24.0 mm) in females and for the deep branch of the supratrochlear artery at a mean distance of 14 mm in males and females (range, 10.0-19.0 in males, 4.0-27.0 in females) when measured from the superior orbital rim. Conclusions: Based on the ultrasound findings in this study, it seems that the supraperiosteal plane of the upper and lower forehead could be targeted during soft tissue filler injections because the deep branches of both the supraorbital and supratrochlear arteries do not travel within this plane. The superficial plane of the lower forehead, however, should be avoided due to the unpredictability and inconsistent presence of the central and paracentral arteries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)NP1589-NP1598
JournalAesthetic Surgery Journal
Issue number11
Early online date28 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2021


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