The cadaveric study of the lateral position of the external carotid artery

Author : Lakshmi gayathri G.B, Vino Victor Jesudas

During regular educational dissections of 20 cadavers irrespective of sex, in the Institute of Anatomy of Madurai Medical college, a rare anatomic variant was encountered at the level of the right carotid triangle of a human adult cadaver. The variant was unilateral. On that side the common carotid artery bifurcated at the level of the upper border of the thyroid cartilage. The External carotid artery was posterolateral to the Internal carotid artery and the anterior branches of the former (Superior thyroid, Lingual and Facial arteries) initially crossed over the Internal carotid artery before continuing with a normal anatomical course. The possibility of an inverse disposition of the Internal and External carotid arteries is a rare anatomical variant. Such a variant poses a challenge for the Vascular Surgeons when performing arterial ligatures in the carotid triangle for various procedures like carotid Endarterectomy, chemotherapeutic drug instillation, arterial embolisation etc, to avoid any vascular or nerve damage. Hence this study aims at presenting the prevalence of disposition of the Internal and External carotid artery within the carotid triangle, which helps the Surgeons when performing the various arterial procedures.

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