Common carotid artery

Common Carotid Artery

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Common carotid artery

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Description:
In human anatomy, the common carotid artery is an artery that supplies the head and neck with oxygenated blood; it divides in the neck to form the external and internal carotid arteries.

Structure

The common carotid artery is a paired structure, meaning that there are two in the body, one for each half. The left and right common carotid arteries follow the same course with the exception of their origin. The right common carotid originates in the neck from the brachiocephalic trunk. The left arises from the aortic arch in the thoracic region.

The left common carotid artery can be thought of as having two parts: a thoracic (chest) part and a cervical (neck) part. The right common carotid originates in or close to the neck, so it lacks a thoracic portion.

Thoracic part

Only the left common carotid artery has a substantial presence in the thoracic region. It originates along the aortic arch, and travels upward through the superior mediastinum to the level of the left sternoclavicular joint, where it is continuous with the cervical portion.

Relations

During the thoracic part of its course, the left common carotid artery is related to the following structures: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...
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