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Anat Cell Biol

Published online October 20, 2022


Copyright © Korean Association of ANATOMISTS.

Untrapped: bilateral hypoplasia of the trapzius muscle

BaileaSue R. Rounds , Meredith F. Rasey , Randy Kulesza

Department of Anatomy, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, Erie, PA, USA

Correspondence to:Randy Kulesza
Department of Anatomy, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, 1858 West Grandview Blvd, Erie, PA 16509, USA
E-mail: rkulesza@lecom.edu

Received: July 15, 2022; Revised: August 27, 2022; Accepted: October 1, 2022

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Agenesis or congenital hypoplasia of skeletal muscles occurs infrequently but may occur with specific conditions such as Poland syndrome. The trapezius muscle can vary in the extent of its bony attachments or may have additional slips, however congenital absence or hypoplasia is extremely rare. There are only a few reports of partial or complete absence of the trapezius muscle. Two cases of bilateral absence of the trapezius were both in males and were accompanied by the absence of additional muscle in the pectoral girdle. Herein, we describe a case of a 56-year-old male cadaver with bilateral hypoplasia of the trapezius. The muscle was largely represented by atrophied muscle fibers with an abundance of fibrotic or fatty connective tissue. This subject had very minor hypoplasia of the left pectoralis major muscle, but the remaining muscles of the pectoral girdle were normal. The spinal accessory nerve terminated in the sternocleidomastoid muscle on both sides, failing to reach the trapezius. We interpret these findings to be consistent with a minor variant of Poland syndrome.

Keywords: Anatomy, Poland syndrome, Cranial nerve

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