Scarpa fascia

Last revised by Yoshi Yu on 27 Mar 2023

Scarpa fascia is a membranous layer of superficial fascia that extends over the lower thoracic and anterior abdominal wall, anterior to the midaxillary lines. Here, fibrous septa of subcutaneous tissue are condensed beneath the fat into a thin but strong membrane. The fascia allows the subcutaneous fat (Camper fascia) to slide freely over the underlying thoracic wall, rectus sheath, and external oblique aponeurosis.

Superiorly and laterally, Scarpa fascia fades out over the upper thoracic wall and midaxillary lines. Medially and inferiorly it fades into linea alba and the pubic symphysis. Just below the inguinal ligament in the upper thigh, it blends into the fascia lata. It is continuous with the superficial fascia of the perineum (Colles fascia) and of the penis, scrotum and labia (Dartos fascia) 3.

History and etymology

The fascia is named for an Italian professor of anatomical sciences and surgery Antonio Scarpa (1752–1832) who held tenure at the University of Pavia 2.

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