Deep cervical fascia

Dr Daniel MacManus and Dr Craig Hacking et al.

The deep cervical fascia consists of 3 separate but related fascial layers that encircle structures in the neck and allow anatomic compartmentalisation. These layers cannot be visualized directly by cross sectional imaging. All 3 layers meet to form the carotid sheath. From superficial to deep, the 3 layers are:

1. Investing layer of the deep cervical fascia is the most superficial layer.

2. Pretracheal layer of the deep cervical fascia is the intermediate layer.

3. Prevertebral layer of the deep cervical fascia is the most deep layer.

Clinical importance

The fascial layers allow surgical cleavage planes and is vitally important in limiting the spread of disease (mainly infection and malignancy). However due to the continuation of the pretracheal and prevertebral layers into the chest, disease can spread into the mediastinum.

All 3 layers converge to form the carotid sheath.

See also

Anatomy: Head and neck
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Article information

rID: 41029
System: Head & Neck
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • investing layer of deep cervical fascia
  • pretracheal layer of deep cervical fascia
  • prevertebral layer of deep cervical fascia

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