Carotid Arterial System – Carotid and Subclavian Arteries

by Craig Canby, PhD

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    00:01 Welcome to this presentation on the carotid and subclavian arteries. This slide demonstrates the right subclavian and the right common carotid arteries. Here is your right subclavian artery.

    00:18 Then we see the right common carotid artery extending superiorly. We will now explore these vessels in greater detail and we’ll begin with the carotid arterial system. We see a general image detailing that system. We will begin with the common carotid artery.

    00:45 We see the termination of the common carotid artery at this particular level because at this level, it will bifurcate and then form this vessel which is the external carotid artery.

    01:00 It has numerous branches as you can see. The other and final branch of the common carotid is internal carotid artery. Let’s now explore in greater detail the branching pattern of the external carotid artery. When we walk through this particular segment of the presentation, we will identify eight branches of the external carotid artery. There is a helpful mnemonic that will allow you to remember what those branches are. So again, we see our common carotid artery. We see our external carotid artery. We see our internal carotid. So our focus is on the external carotid artery. The first branch is the superior thyroid artery.

    01:56 As we see here coming off the external carotid artery, the second branch is the ascending pharyngeal artery. This is a slender branch and is very difficult to identify because of its small size. The third branch that issues from the external carotid is referred to as the lingual artery. We see the proximal stump of the lingual artery in this particular view. The fourth branch issuing from our external carotid is this prominent structure called the facial artery. Then we see it coursing behind the inferior part of the mandible in phantom and then right in through here, it curves up and over and travels just anterior to the mandible and then continues its ascension to the medial corner of the left eye in this particular case. I should point out that an anatomic variation may exist here where the lingual artery and the facial artery come off the external carotid as a common stump. The fifth branch of the external carotid artery is this one that is coursing posteriorly along the occipital bone. This is referred to as your occipital artery.

    03:27 The sixth branch of the external carotid is this slender branch referred to as the posterior auricular artery. This is coursing just posterior to the external acoustic meatus and then along the skull. The final two branches are going to be the two terminal branches of the external carotid artery. So the first terminal branch of the external carotid is this large artery referred to as the maxillary artery coursing medially and giving your eyes the numerous branches.

    04:09 The other terminal branch resulting in the eighth and final branch is the superficial temporal artery. There is a clinical correlation area here that we’ll see shortly. The branches of the external carotid artery can be confusing to remember. There is a helpful mnemonic that will allow you to remember these. That mnemonic is Some Anatomists Like Freaking Out Poor Medical Students. Now, we'll bring in all the labelled branches of the external carotid artery.

    04:45 You need to read from the first branch shown here, superior thyroid artery upward to the two terminal branches for this mnemonic to be useful to you. Superior thyroid artery will be the S in Some. Ascending would be the A in Anatomists. The L in lingual will be Like. The F in facial will be the F in Freaking. The O in occipital will be the O in Out. The P in posterior will be the P in Poor. The M in Maxillary will the M in Medical. Then lastly, we have the S that would represent the S in Students in the mnemonic.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Carotid Arterial System – Carotid and Subclavian Arteries by Craig Canby, PhD is from the course Head and Neck Anatomy.

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Superior thyroid artery
    2. Ascending pharyngeal artery
    3. Occipital artery
    4. Facial artery
    5. Lingual artery
    1. Lingual and facial arteries
    2. Lingual and occipital arteries
    3. Occipital and ascending pharyngeal arteries
    4. Facial and ascending pharyngeal arteries
    5. Facial and occipital arteries
    1. Inferior thyroid artery
    2. Superior thyroid artery
    3. Superficial temporal artery
    4. Maxillary artery
    5. Posterior auricular artery

    Author of lecture Carotid Arterial System – Carotid and Subclavian Arteries

     Craig Canby, PhD

    Craig Canby, PhD

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