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International Journal of Morphology

On-line version ISSN 0717-9502


RIBEIRO, Rogério Alves et al. Common Carotid Artery Bifurcation Levels Related to Clinical Relevant Anatomical Landmarks . Int. J. Morphol. [online]. 2006, vol.24, n.3, pp.413-416. ISSN 0717-9502.

In head and neck surgery, the common carotid arteries are important landmarks, defining dissection plane during radical neck surgeries. The objectives of the present study were to add information on the diameter of the carotid arteries and to correlate the common carotid artery (CCA) bifurcation level with important anatomical landmarks used regularly in clinical practice. Forty-six necks from male embalmed human cadavers were evaluated. The CCA as the external (ECA) and internal (ICA) carotid arteries diameters were studied with the aid of an electronic digital caliper. No differences were found between sides in any level studied. The CCA bifurcation level was measured in relation to clinically relevant anatomical landmarks (superior level of the thyroid cartilage, mandible angle and ear lobe) and the bifurcation level according to the cervical vertebra level was also investigated. Our study shows that the superior border of the thyroid cartilage was the most stable anatomical landmark for predicting the CCA bifurcation level. It is important to mention that from all the landmarks studied, the cervical vertebra was the only one to show differences between sides, with the left side bifurcation level more variable than the right side

Keywords : Vascular anatomy; Surgical anatomy; Neck surgery; Carotid artery; Arterial diameter.

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