ANATOMICAL STUDY ON THE VARIATIONS OF THE ANTERIOR BELLY OF THE DIGASTRIC MUSCLE: ESTUDIO ANATOMICO SOBRE LAS VARIACIONES DE SU VIENTRE ANTERIOR
Caldas Navarro,João Adolfo
Toledo Filho,João Lopes
Several investigators have recently emphasized the need of a better knowledge of the normal anatomy and variations of the anterior belly of the digastric muscle. Hypertrophy of the muscle mass, and variation in number and site of insertion of this muscle in relation to the midline may interfere with its functional behavior. Upon clinical or imaging examination, these variations may occasionally be confused with an infarcted submental lymph node. Some investigators have suggested that these variations may be involved in asymmetrical movements of the temporomandibular joint. We report here 5 cases detected during routine dissection in order to alert the professionals to the incidence of this type of variation. The volume of the anterior belly of the digastric muscle in some cases is quite developed, considerably approaching the midsagittal plane. Five cases of variation in number of anterior bellies were detected. In 3 of them only one accessory belly was observed, located in the right antimere in 2 cases and in the left antimere in the third. In 1 case 2 accessory bellies were detected, one in each antimere, although both of them crossed the midsagittal plane in an Xshaped pattern. In another case, 2 accessory bellies were detected in a single antimere, one of them more developed and parallel to the normal belly, and the other less developed and oblique in relation to the normal belly. In view of the multiple anatomical variations and their possible repercussions on the functional behavior of this important suprahyoid muscle, we suggest that all variations should be described and, if possible, that all clinical cases should be documented.
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