Artist depiction of the muscles that border the suboccipital triangle.
- Rectus capitis posterior major - above and medially
- Obliquus capitis superior - above and laterally
- Obliquus capitis inferior - below and laterally
(Rectus capitus posterior minor is also in this region but does not form part of the triangle)
It is covered by a layer of dense fibro-fatty tissue, situated beneath the semispinalis capitis.
In the past, the vertebral artery was accessed here in order to conduct angiography of the circle of Willis. In these times a formal angiography of the circle of Willis is performed via catheter angiography, with access usually being acquired at the common femoral artery. Alternatively, a computed tomographic angiogram or magnetic resonance angiogram is performed.
Contents of the suboccipital triangle
The purpose of these muscles is to provide fine motor function in movements of the head. The actions of trapezius, sternocleidomastoid and other larger muscles that move the head are refined by the relatively small suboccipital triangle muscles.
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