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Chang Gung Med J. 2012 May-Jun;35(3):281-4.

Variant origins of arteries in the carotid triangle - a case report.

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Department of Anatomy, Centre for Basic Sciences, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal University, Bejai, Mangalore, Karnataka, India.


The left superior laryngeal artery was observed arising from the external carotid artery instead of the superior thyroid artery in the cadaver of an approximately 70 year-old Asian man. In addition, on the same side, the superior thyroid artery arose from the common carotid artery 2 cm before the bifurcation instead of its usual origin from the external carotid artery. From the external carotid artery, the lingual and facial arteries arose from the common linguofacial trunk. The nerves in the carotid triangle were normal in course. No variations were observed on the right side carotid system. The multiple variations in this case have not been previously described. The embryogenesis of this combination of variations is not clear, but the anatomic consequences may have important clinical implications. As angiography has gained popularity in diagnostic approaches in recent years, it is essential to be aware of these variations so that they are not overlooked in differential diagnoses.

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