Deep cervical fascia
Citation, DOI & article data
The deep cervical fascia consists of three separate but related fascial layers that encircle structures in the neck and allow anatomic compartmentalisation into the deep spaces of the head and neck. Each layer contributes to the carotid sheath. See the separate articles for further details:
- superficial layer of the deep cervical fascia
- middle layer of the deep cervical fascia
- deep layer of the deep cervical fascia
The deep cervical fascia was historically defined in contrast to the superficial cervical fascia, the latter of which primarily includes the platysma and subcutaneous fat and vessels. However, as with other fascia in the body, use of the terminology of the superficial cervical fascia has declined in favor of "subcutaneous tissue" 4. Thus, an unspecified reference to cervical fascia mainly refers to the deep cervical fascia.
The fascia usually cannot be visualized directly by imaging.
The fascial layers limit the spread of disease. Knowledge of fascial anatomy helps identify common routes of spread of infection and metastatic disease in the head and neck, including spread into the chest.
The fascial layers also provide surgical cleavage planes.
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