The aim of this study was to reveal the histomorphological connections among the suborbicularis oculi fat (SOOF), the orbicularis oculi muscle (OOM), the superficial musculoaponeurotic system (SMAS), the infraorbital fat and the skin. Full graft tissue blocks of the infraorbital region with the skin, SMAS, OOM and SOOF were collected post mortem from one female and two male formalin-fixed body donors. Serial histological sections were made, stained and digitized. Digitalization and three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction of the histological meshwork were performed. SOOF was revealed as a fibro-adipose tissue underlying the OOM, which was strictly separated from the intraorbital fat pad by the orbital septum. SOOF, OOM and SMAS were connected by fibrous septa derived from the SOOF, traversing the OOM with division into multiple muscular bundles, continuing above the muscular plane by forming the SMAS and ending with skin insertion. In the infraorbital region, two different types of SMAS bordering the infraorbital fold have been recognized. Muscle cells have been demonstrated in the SMAS fibrous septa of both SMAS types. Together with the OOM, the SMAS and the skin, SOOF forms an anatomical functional unit. Muscular contraction of the OOM could be transferred by the SMAS to the skin level, producing periorbital mimic expression. The 3D reconstruction facilitates the comprehension of the morphological structure, its connections and space correlations in the infraorbital area. The morphological and topographical peculiarities of the infraorbital structures make it possible to conclude that surgical interventions in this area need to be elaborated and individualized.
© 2018 The Author(s).