Common carotid artery

carotidcarotid arteriescarotid arterycommon carotid arteriesleft common carotid arterycommon carotidcarotid artery injuriescommonleft common carotidright common carotid
In anatomy, the left and right common carotid arteries (carotids) are arteries that supply the head and neck with oxygenated blood; they divide in the neck to form the external and internal carotid arteries.wikipedia
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Internal carotid artery

internal carotid arteriesinternal carotidinternal
In anatomy, the left and right common carotid arteries (carotids) are arteries that supply the head and neck with oxygenated blood; they divide in the neck to form the external and internal carotid arteries.
In human anatomy, they arise from the common carotid arteries where these bifurcate into the internal and external carotid arteries at cervical vertebral level 3 or 4; the internal carotid artery supplies the brain including eyes, while the external carotid nourishes other portions of the head, such as face, scalp, skull, and meninges.

External carotid artery

external carotidexternal carotid arteriesexternal
In anatomy, the left and right common carotid arteries (carotids) are arteries that supply the head and neck with oxygenated blood; they divide in the neck to form the external and internal carotid arteries.
It arises from the common carotid artery when it splits into the external and internal carotid artery.

Aortic arch

arch of the aortaaortic knobisthmus of aorta
The right common carotid originates in the neck from the brachiocephalic trunk; the left from the aortic arch in the thorax.
Next, the left common carotid artery originates from the aortic arch to the left of the brachiocephalic trunk, then ascends along the left side of the trachea and through the superior mediastinum.

Mediastinum

mediastinalposterior mediastinumanterior mediastinum
It originates directly from the aortic arch, and travels upward through the superior mediastinum to the level of the left sternoclavicular joint.

Artery

arteriesarterialarterial system
In anatomy, the left and right common carotid arteries (carotids) are arteries that supply the head and neck with oxygenated blood; they divide in the neck to form the external and internal carotid arteries.
These are followed by the branches off the aortic arch, namely the brachiocephalic artery, the left common carotid, and the left subclavian arteries.

Subclavian artery

subclavian arteriessubclavianleft subclavian artery
The left subclavian artery is posterior and slightly lateral to it.
On the left side of the body, the subclavian comes directly off the aortic arch, while on the right side it arises from the relatively short brachiocephalic artery when it bifurcates into the subclavian and the right common carotid artery.

Deep cervical fascia

Fascia coli
The common carotid artery is contained in a sheath known as the carotid sheath, which is derived from the deep cervical fascia and encloses also the internal jugular vein and vagus nerve, the vein lying lateral to the artery, and the nerve between the artery and vein, on a plane posterior to both. At the lower part of the neck the common carotid artery is very deeply seated, being covered by the integument, superficial fascia, the platysma muscle, deep cervical fascia, the sternocleidomastoid muscle, the sternohyoid, sternothyroid, and the omohyoid; in the upper part of its course it is more superficial, being covered merely by the integument, the superficial fascia, the platysma, deep cervical fascia, and medial margin of the sternocleidomastoid.
The deep cervical fascia (or fascia colli in older texts) lies under cover of the platysma, and invests the muscles of the neck; it also forms sheaths for the carotid vessels, and for the structures situated in front of the vertebral column.

Trachea

windpipetrachealtracheae
In front, it is separated from the manubrium of the sternum by the sternohyoid and sternothyroid muscles, the anterior portions of the left pleura and lung, the left brachiocephalic vein, and the remains of the thymus; behind, it lies on the trachea, esophagus, left recurrent laryngeal nerve, and thoracic duct.
In front of the lower trachea lies the manubrium of the sternum, the remnants of the thymus in adults; to the front left the large blood vessels the aortic arch and its branches the left common carotid artery and the brachiocephalic trunk; and the left brachiocephalic vein.

Internal jugular vein

internal jugularinternal jugular veinsIJV veins
The common carotid artery is contained in a sheath known as the carotid sheath, which is derived from the deep cervical fascia and encloses also the internal jugular vein and vagus nerve, the vein lying lateral to the artery, and the nerve between the artery and vein, on a plane posterior to both. This part of the artery is crossed obliquely, from its medial to its lateral side, by the sternocleidomastoid branch of the superior thyroid artery; it is also crossed by the superior and middle thyroid veins (which end in the internal jugular vein); descending in front of its sheath is the descending branch of the hypoglossal nerve, this filament being joined by one or two branches from the cervical nerves, which cross the vessel obliquely.
The vein runs in the carotid sheath with the common carotid artery and vagus nerve.

Vagus nerve

vagusvagalcranial nerve X
The common carotid artery is contained in a sheath known as the carotid sheath, which is derived from the deep cervical fascia and encloses also the internal jugular vein and vagus nerve, the vein lying lateral to the artery, and the nerve between the artery and vein, on a plane posterior to both. To its right side below is the brachiocephalic trunk, and above, the trachea, the inferior thyroid veins, and the remains of the thymus; to its left side are the left vagus and phrenic nerves, left pleura, and lung.
The left vagus nerve enters the thorax between left common carotid artery and left subclavian artery and descends on the aortic arch.

Cervical vertebrae

cervicalcervical spinecervical vertebra
These split into the external and internal carotid arteries at the upper border of the thyroid cartilage, at around the level of the fourth cervical vertebra.

Carotid sheath

The common carotid artery is contained in a sheath known as the carotid sheath, which is derived from the deep cervical fascia and encloses also the internal jugular vein and vagus nerve, the vein lying lateral to the artery, and the nerve between the artery and vein, on a plane posterior to both.

Carotid body

carotid bodiescarotidcarotid body cell
Behind the angle of bifurcation of the common carotid artery is a reddish-brown oval body known as the carotid body.
The carotid body is located in the adventitia, in the bifurcation (fork) of the common carotid artery, which runs along both sides of the neck.

Carotid artery stenosis

carotid stenosiscarotid artery diseaseCarotid artery
Carotid stenosis may occur in patients with atherosclerosis.
The common carotid artery is the large artery whose pulse can be felt on both sides of the neck under the jaw.

Carotidynia

Carotidynia is a syndrome marked by soreness of the carotid artery near the bifurcation.
Carotidynia is a syndrome characterized by unilateral (one-sided) tenderness of the carotid artery, near the bifurcation.

Superior thyroid artery

Superior laryngeal arterysuperior thyroid arteriesGlandular branches of the superior thyroid artery
This part of the artery is crossed obliquely, from its medial to its lateral side, by the sternocleidomastoid branch of the superior thyroid artery; it is also crossed by the superior and middle thyroid veins (which end in the internal jugular vein); descending in front of its sheath is the descending branch of the hypoglossal nerve, this filament being joined by one or two branches from the cervical nerves, which cross the vessel obliquely. The common carotid usually gives off no branch previous to its bifurcation, but it occasionally gives origin to the superior thyroid artery or its laryngeal branch, the ascending pharyngeal artery, the inferior thyroid artery, or, more rarely, the vertebral artery.

Sternocleidomastoid muscle

sternocleidomastoidsternocleidomastoideussternocleidomastoideus muscle
At the lower part of the neck the common carotid artery is very deeply seated, being covered by the integument, superficial fascia, the platysma muscle, deep cervical fascia, the sternocleidomastoid muscle, the sternohyoid, sternothyroid, and the omohyoid; in the upper part of its course it is more superficial, being covered merely by the integument, the superficial fascia, the platysma, deep cervical fascia, and medial margin of the sternocleidomastoid.
Many important structures relate to the sternocleidomastoid, including the common carotid artery, accessory nerve, and brachial plexus.

Ascending pharyngeal artery

pharyngeal branches of ascending pharyngeal arteryascending pharyngealPharyngeal artery
The common carotid usually gives off no branch previous to its bifurcation, but it occasionally gives origin to the superior thyroid artery or its laryngeal branch, the ascending pharyngeal artery, the inferior thyroid artery, or, more rarely, the vertebral artery.
It lies just superior to the bifurcation of the common carotid arteries.

Carotid ultrasonography

Carotid Doppler machinecarotid duplex
Carotid ultrasonography is an ultrasound-based diagnostic imaging technique to reveal structural details of the carotid arteries, so as to look for blood clots, atherosclerotic plaque buildup, and other blood flow problems.

Aorta

aorticaortic archaortic root
The aortic arch has three major branches: from proximal to distal, they are the brachiocephalic trunk, the left common carotid artery, and the left subclavian artery.

Intima-media thickness

carotid intima-media thicknessthickened intima mediawall thickening
The intima-media thickness of the carotid artery wall is a marker of subclinical atherosclerosis, it increases with age and with long-term exposure to particulate air pollution.
IMT can be measured using external ultrasound in large arteries relatively close to the skin (e.g. the carotid, brachial, radial, or femoral arteries).

Head and neck anatomy

head and neckneck or templeVeins of the head and neck
Blood circulates from the upper systemic loop originating at the aortic arch, and includes: the brachiocephalic artery, left common carotid artery and left subclavian artery.

Brachiocephalic artery

brachiocephalic trunkinnominate arterybrachiocephalic
The right common carotid originates in the neck from the brachiocephalic trunk; the left from the aortic arch in the thorax.
It is the first branch of the aortic arch, and soon after it emerges, the brachiocephalic artery divides into the right common carotid artery and the right subclavian artery.

Blood

human bloodhematologicaloxygen consumption
In anatomy, the left and right common carotid arteries (carotids) are arteries that supply the head and neck with oxygenated blood; they divide in the neck to form the external and internal carotid arteries.

Thyroid cartilage

thyroidAdam's Applesuperior thyroid notch
These split into the external and internal carotid arteries at the upper border of the thyroid cartilage, at around the level of the fourth cervical vertebra.