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SHORT COMMUNICATION
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 184-187

Variation in the branching pattern of the anterior branches of the external carotid artery


1 Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Benghazi, Benghazi, Libya; Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification, University of Dundee; Department of General Surgery, Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, UK
2 Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Benghazi, Benghazi, Libya; Biomedical Sciences, MENA Research Group, School of Clinical and Applied Sciences, Leeds, Beckett University; Department of Outpatients, St James University Hospital, Leeds, UK
3 Biomedical Sciences, MENA Research Group, School of Clinical and Applied Sciences, Leeds, Beckett University, Leeds; Department of Trauma and Orthopaedics, University Hospitals of Coventry and Warwick, Coventry, UK
4 Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Benghazi, Benghazi, Libya; Biomedical Sciences, MENA Research Group, School of Clinical and Applied Sciences, Leeds, Beckett University, Leeds, UK

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Osama A Tashani
Centre for Pain Research, MENA Research Group, Portland PD609, City Campus, Leeds LS1 3HE, England

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/LJMS.LJMS_53_20

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Background/Aim: External carotid artery (ECA) shows a variable branching pattern of its stemming vessels. The aim of this study was to investigate the variations in the origin of the three primary anterior branches of the ECA: superior thyroid artery (STA), lingual artery (LA), and facial artery (FA). Methods: The branching pattern of the ECA was studied on 15 Thiel embalmed cadavers of Scottish population (7 males and 8 females). The carotid triangle was dissected bilaterally to uncover the common carotid artery (CCA), internal carotid artery and ECA. The level of carotid artery bifurcation (CB) was located. Variation of the branching patterns of the ECA was assessed. Moreover, the distances between the origin sites of these vessels and the site of the CB were measured. Results: The STA was found to arise more frequently from the ECA (60%) than from the CCA (40%), with no differences in distribution between sexes or sides. Regarding the assessment of the branching patterns of the ECA, the specimens where the STA, LA, and FA emerged as individual branches were 90% of cases, linguofacial trunk cases were 6.7%, and thyrolinguofacial trunk cases were 3.3%. The distances from the vessel origin site to the CB were found to be 8.11 ± 2.77 mm, 19.38 ± 8.85 mm, and 27.95 ± 10.15 mm, for the STA, LA, and FA, respectively. Conclusions: The current findings have confirmed that the ECA branching pattern is highly variable in Thiel embalmed cadavers of Scottish population. Therefore, considering some radiological imaging before conducting any invasive procedure in the neck region could be vital to prevent iatrogenic injuries.


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