Assessment of anatomical variations in the branches of external carotid artery

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Swapna.A.Shedge, Hemlata.S. Mohite, Manoj.P.Ambali


Introduction: Profound comprehension of the spatial orientation and intricacies of the external carotid artery and its ramifications is indispensable for faciomaxillary interventions and procedures involving the neck. A nuanced understanding of the divergences in the vascular branching pattern is particularly critical to circumvent complications arising from catheter insertions into carotid arteries during diverse medical interventions and pre-operative angiography. The external carotid artery serves as a pivotal conduit for the delivery of anticancer pharmaceuticals in the treatment of head and neck cancer. Thus, a clinical mastery over the anatomical intricacies and branching configurations of the external carotid artery is of paramount importance.

Materials and Methods: A total of 30 external carotid arteries were encompassed in the current investigation. The dissection of the external carotid artery transpired within the dissecting domain of the Anatomy Department at Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences, karad. Upon the revelation of the entire network of branches and the course of the external carotid artery, any discerned variations were meticulously documented. The length of the artery was gauged employing thread, scale, and vernier caliper. Subsequently, all acquired data underwent meticulous analysis using Microsoft Excel 2007 software, with representation in terms of mean and standard deviation.

Results: In routine cadaver dissection, an unusual external carotid artery branching pattern was observed, along with significant variations in branch origins on both sides. The average length of the external carotid artery, from its common carotid artery bifurcation to termination, measured 7.9 cm on the right and 7.8 cm on the left. Summary: External carotid artery exhibited atypical branching; notable variations in branch origins on both sides; average length—7.9 cm (right), 7.8 cm (left).

Conclusion: The mean length of the external carotid artery demonstrated a discernable distinction between the right and left sides. The proclivity for variations in the branching pattern of the external carotid artery was more conspicuous on the left side in comparison to the right side. These variances in the vascular architecture of the external carotid artery bear significant implications for vascular surgeons and radiologists, serving as a pivotal determinant in averting diagnostic inaccuracies and mitigating complications during surgical interventions in the craniofacial region.

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