The External Carotid Artery supplies mostly the scalp, neck and face regions of the body. A detailed knowledge of blood vessels and nerves in this head, neck and face regions is very helpful in various therapeutic and diagnostic procedures such as surgical resection of head, neck, face and oral cancers, radical neck dissection, plastic and reconstructive surgeries related to this vital region. Cerebrovascular strokes due to atherosclerosis, haemorrhage or embolism require radiological investigation like carotid angiogram, surgical procedures like carotid endarterectomy also require a thourough knowledge of anatomy of external carotid artery and its branches. Anomalous branching pattern of the carotid arteries and variations in the relative position of internal and external carotid arteries can also damage cranial nerves related to them. Hence, it was decided to undertake a morphometric study of external carotid artery by meticulous dissection of cadavers. The aim was to study variations in the course, relations and branching pattern of External Carotid Artery. In this study, 60 cadavers embalmed with 10% formalin were used, and thus 120 neck-halves were studied. Of these cadavers 52 were male and 8 were female. These cadavers were obtained from the Department of Anatomy, Seth G.S. Medical College, Parel, Mumbai, Maharashtra. The present study was conducted over the period of two years. Linguofacial trunk was observed to be the commonest variation i.e. in 17 cases (28.33%) on the right side and in 18 cases (30%) on the left side. Thyrolinguofacial trunk was encountered in one case (1.67%) on the left side. Also Accessory branches of ECA such as branches to the parotid gland, submandibulargland, infrahyoid region and pharyngeal muscular branches were found in 6 cases (10%) on the right side and in 5 cases (8.33%) on the left side.
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Author Name: Anjalee Govindrao Ovhal, Mohammad Mujahid Ansari, Lakshmi Rajgopal
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Keywords: Thyrolinguofacial trunk, External carotid artery, Endarterectomy, Cerebrovascular strokes, Cadavers