Dimensions and Morphologic Variability of the Retro-Orbicularis Oculi and Frontalis Muscle Fat Pad
Blandford, Alexander D.; Bachour, Salam P.; Chen, Rachel; Xu, Lucy T.; Hwang, Catherine J.; Perry, Julian D.Read More
Purpose: To quantify the complete dimensions of the retro-orbicularis oculi fat (ROOF) pad and to determine its relationship to other fat compartments of the forehead.
Methods: The entire forehead of 14 hemifaces of seven fresh frozen human cadavers (four female, three male) was dissected in the subcutaneous and submuscular planes. For each plane, a ruler was placed at the facial midline, and images of the dissection plane were taken at 90° and 45°. Images were analyzed for vertical height, horizontal length, the distance to midline from the point of maximal height, and area for each hemiface of the ROOF and for the entire fat compartment contiguous with the ROOF. A two-tailed t test was conducted between ROOF and ROOF plus the extended fat plane across all measurements. A Wilcoxon nonparametric signed rank test was performed to determine equivalent fat distribution of the extended fat plane over each cadaver’s respective eye.
Results: The deep fat originating from the ROOF consistently extended laterally and superiorly in each specimen, distinctly separated via septae from the deep central, deep lateral, and the deep temporal fat compartments. The color, composition, and distribution of this contiguous deep fat did not differ phenotypically from the traditional ROOF. The extended deep fat plane possessed an average vertical height of 3.09 ± 0.68 cm, average distance to midline from point of maximal height of 3.56 ± 0.53 cm, an average horizontal length of 5.37 ± 0.82 cm, and an average area of 13.40 ± 2.69 cm2. The extended deep fat demonstrated a statistically significant increase in maximal height, length, and total area compared with the ROOF. A Wilcoxon nonparametric signed rank test was nonsignificant (α = 0.01) across all measurements, demonstrating that the extended fat plane was similarly distributed over each eye.
Conclusions: A layer of deep fat originating from the traditionally defined ROOF extends superiorly and laterally beneath the frontalis muscle, separate from the deep lateral, deep central, and deep temporal fat pads. This is the first study to clearly demonstrate a contiguous superficial musculoaponeurotic system layer of fat extending under both the orbicularis oculi and frontalis muscles. This plane of fat is more appropriately described as the retro-orbicularis oculi and frontalis fat.