European Journal of Anatomy

Official Journal of The Spanish Society of Anatomy
/> Cover Volume 12 - Number 3
Eur J Anat, 12 (3): 175-178 (2008)

Anatomical variations associated with the carotid arterial system in the neck

Shankar N., Raveendranath V., Ravindranath R., Manjunath K.Y.

Department of Anatomy, St. John's Medical College, Sarjapur Road, Bangalore - 560034, India

ABSTRACT During routine dissection of the neck region of a middle aged female cadaver, the brachiocephalic trunk was found to arise from the arch of the aorta along the left margin of the trachea. The right common carotid arose anterior to the upper trachea and crossed it. The crossing of the upper part of the trachea by the right common carotid artery is a rare occurrence. A more distal branching of the aortic sac during fetal life could explain the anomalous origin of the brachiocephalic trunk. This may lead to an unusual origin and course of the right common carotid artery. Knowledge of this rare variation is clinically important for making midline neck incisions, as well as for revealing the diagnoses of pulsatile neck swellings. The other variations of the carotid arterial system described in this case include bilateral tortuosity of the common carotid arteries and external carotid arteries; an anterolateral relationship of the right external carotid artery to the right internal carotid artery at their origins; high bifurcation of the left common carotid artery, and a bilateral origin of the superior thyroid arteries from the common carotid artery. These more common variations need to be kept in mind when making clinical diagnoses, conducting neck surgeries and carrying out carotid angiography. The isthmus of the thyroid gland was found to be absent. This finding is important because it may be associated with other thyroid abnormalities.

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