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Anatomical connections among the depressor supercilii, levator labii superioris alaeque nasi, and inferior fibers of orbicularis oculi: Implications for variation in human facial expressions.

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The aim of this study was to determine how the depressor supercilii (DS) connects to the levator labii superioris alaeque nasi (LLSAN) and inferior fibers of the orbicularis oculi (OOc INF) in the human midface. While grimacing, contraction of the DS with fibers connecting to the LLSAN and OOc INF can assist in pulling the medial eyebrow downward more than when these connecting fibers are not present. Contraction of these distinct connecting fibers between the DS and the LLSAN can also slightly elevate the nasal ala and upper lip. The DS was examined in 44 specimens of embalmed adult Korean cadavers. We found that the DS connected to the LLSAN or the OOc INF by muscle fibers or thin aponeuroses in 33 (75.0%) of the 44 specimens. The DS was connected to both the LLSAN and OOc INF by muscle fibers or aponeuroses and had no connection to either in 5 (11.4%) and 11 (25.0%) specimens, respectively. The DS was connected to the LLSAN by the muscle fibers and thin aponeuroses in 6 (13.6%) and 4 (9.1%) specimens, respectively. The DS was connected to the OOc INF by the muscle fibers and thin aponeuroses in 5 (11.4%) and 23 (52.3%) specimens, respectively. Our findings regarding the anatomical connections of the glabellar region DS to the midface LLSAN and OOc INF provide insights on the dynamic balance between the brow depressors such as the DS and brow-elevating muscle and contribute to understanding the anatomical origins of individual variation in facial expressions. These results can also improve the safety, predictability, and aesthetics of treatments for the glabellar region with botulinum toxin type A and can be helpful when performing electromyography.

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