Tensor-vascular-styloid fascia

Last revised by Francis Deng on 29 Nov 2019

The tensor-vascular-styloid fascia is a part of the middle layer of the deep cervical fascia that has been suggested to divide the prestyloid and poststyloid compartments of the parapharyngeal space. It is an extension of, and previously sometimes referred to as, the tensor veli palatini fascia 1-3.

Radiographic features

Although invisible on imaging, the location of the tensor-vascular-styloid fascia can be inferred by drawing a straight line from the styloid process to the tensor veli palatini muscle 4 or to the medial pterygoid plate 5. The internal carotid artery and internal jugular vein are located posteromedial to this line. Displacement of these structures helps localize a lesion to the prestyloid versus poststyloid parapharyngeal space.

See also

A competing suggestion has arisen that the fascia that divides the prestyloid and poststyloid spaces is actually derived from the fascia of the stylopharyngeusstyloglossus, and/or levator veli palatini muscles 6-8.

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