Background Since arterial supply of the anterior ear was described in 1992 by Park et al, various anatomical studies and surgical techniques have been published in the literatures. Although anatomic studies about the vascular pattern of the ear have been previously reported, most were incomplete to understand the vascular anatomy of the ear and its surgical outcomes. In this report, the authors defined further detailed vascular pattern of the arterial networks and of the main perforators of the anterior ear. Methods The authors dissected in a total of 11 auricles that had been fixed in 10% formalin solution. Prior to dissection, a red latex solution was injected into the common carotid artery. The anteroauricular and postauricular skin was dissected to expose the arterial network under ×10 microscope magnification. Results There are 2 arterial networks in the anteroauricular surface of the ear: triangular-scapha fossa and concha network. In this study, triangular-scapha fossa network has 2 vascular patterns by a dominant arterial supply: the superficial temporal artery (STA) type (6/11, 54.5%) and the posterior auricular artery (PAA) type (5/11, 45.4%). The STA type is distributed by a subbranch of the ascending helical artery of the STA, whereas the dominant arterial supply of the PAA type is a perforator of the triangular fossa from the PAA. We describe an important inflow to the triangular-scapha fossa network as blood supply from the middle division of the PAA, which directly emerges from the posterior to the anterior surface over the cartilage border at midhelix. Conclusions The detailed vascular anatomy of this report allows surgeons to perform surgical procedures safely and to develop various flaps in the field of the ear reconstruction.
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