Free Neck Vessels tutorial, The head and neck receives the majority of its blood supply through the carotid and vertebral arteries. This article shall explore the anatomy of this arterial system – its anatomical course, branches, and clinical correlations.
We shall start at the origin of the carotid arteries. The right common carotid artery arises from a bifurcation of the brachiocephalic trunk (the right subclavian artery is the other branch). This bifurcation occurs roughly at the level of the right sternoclavicular joint.
The left common carotid artery branches directly from the arch of aorta. The left and right common carotid arteries ascend up the neck, lateral to the trachea and the oesophagus. They do not give off any branches in the neck.
At the level of the superior margin of the thyroid cartilage (C4), the carotid arteries split into the external and internal carotid arteries. This bifurcation occurs in an anatomical area known as the carotid triangle.
The common carotid and internal carotid are slightly dilated here, this area is known as the carotid sinus, and is important in detecting and regulating blood pressure.
What blood vessels are in the neck?
Two pairs of blood vessels in the neck — the carotid and vertebral arteries, known collectively as the cervical arteries — carry blood to the brain. A tear in the lining of one of these vessels is called a cervical artery dissection.
What major artery is in the neck?
There are two large arteries in the neck, one on each side. They are the carotid arteries, and they carry blood to the brain. If one of them is narrowed or blocked, it can lead to a stroke. Doctors can test for a narrowed carotid artery, but it's usually not a good idea.