Superficial temporal artery (STA) based pedicled fascial flap plays a pivotal role in ear reconstruction for microtia patients. There is paucity of literature on the anatomy of the STA in microtia patients. The present study aimed to describe any possible anatomical variations seen in the STA of patients afflicted with microtia. Pre-operative carotid computer tomographic angiography images of patients under the microtia database of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Unit at a tertiary medical centre were selected and 3-dimensionally reconstructed. Measurements were made on the 3D reconstructed computed tomographic angiography images of the STA on both the sides of the microtic ear and the non-microtic ear to assess its various anatomical parameters. We managed to obtain a total of 39 computed tomographic angiography images of STAs for analysis. There was a significant difference in the number of main branches of STA between the two groups (P=0.006). The proportion of ears with 2 main branches was higher in the non-microtia group (89.5%) compared to the microtia group (45.0%). A significant difference was found in the STA diameter between the two groups (P=0.012). The mean diameter of STA in the non-microtia group was larger by 0.4 mm. Furthermore, the median angle of STA was larger on the side of the non-microtic ears compared to that of microtic ears by 24.5o, with a P-value of 0.011. The results of the study may be of clinical importance while planning and performing ear reconstructive surgeries using STA based pedicled fascial flaps.
ASJC Scopus subject areas