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
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.
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.
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
muscles, the anterior portions of the left pleura
, the left... Read More