European Journal of Anatomy

Official Journal of The Spanish Society of Anatomy
Cover Volume 10 - Number 1
Eur J Anat, 10 (1): 1-5 (2006)

Structure, location, function and pathological features of the human carotid body

Sarrat-Torres M.A., Torres A., Whyte J., Baena S., Cisneros A., Sarrat R.

Department of Human Anatomy and Histology, School of Medicine, University of Zaragoza, Spain; Departamento de Anatomía e Histología Humana, Facultad de Medicina, C/Domingo Miral s/n, 50009 Zaragoza, Spain

ABSTRACT Study of the structure, function and location of the carotid body is essential in the field of interventionist radiology since the exploration of these aspects with stents elicits a baroreceptor response, triggering in some cases unrecoverable vagotonic crises. This matter is of dual interest because massage in this zone (the bifurcation of the carotids) is one of the manoeuvres most frequently used in primary care in cases of sinusal paroxistic tachycardia. This organ changes with age, cellularity decreasing over time in a fashion inversely proportional to the amount of connective tissue, the cell clusters among them becoming increasingly distant from one another. In the present work, upon studying the structure of this body we observed different cell types and these could be classified as type I, or the main type, in turn divided into type A (pale) and type B (dark), surrounded by type II cells which acted as a support. As well as these, we observed paraneurons very similar to those of the autonomic nervous system. Inside these, Nissl granules were observed, in agreement with the extensive innervation to which this structure is subjected, like its vascularisation of capillaries and venules, where many contacts of glomic cells with nerves and with the vessels are observed. The large amount of neurotransmitters inside the body, encephalin, leucine and above all dopamine, makes the carotid body a good candidate for collecting the peptide necessary for the treatment of Parkinsons diseases or similar dyskinesias.

Keywords: dopamine, enkephalin, leucine, neurotransmitter, adult, aged, article, autonomic nervous system, carotid artery bifurcation, carotid body, carotid sinus nerve, cell type, controlled study, dyskinesia, female, functional anatomy, glossopharyngeal nerve, human, human tissue, innervation, male, mesenchyme, Nissl substance, Parkinson disease, paroxysmal tachycardia, pathological anatomy, pressoreceptor, primary medical care, vascularization

European Journal of anatomy
ISSN 2340-311X (Online)