Triple variation in the vascular supply in the neck of a female donor body: a case report

Jacob Sanderson, Charles Swail, Mario Gamez, Robert Chalk, Ramaswamy Sharma, Arunabh Bhattacharya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: Understanding the anatomical variations involving bifurcation of the common carotid artery, positioning of external and internal carotid arteries, and branching of the external carotid artery are of vital importance in neck surgeries such as carotid endarterectomies (CEA). Methods: The neck of a 51-year-old female donor body was dissected to demonstrate the arterial network. Results: Bifurcation of the common carotid artery occurred at the level of the C6–C7 intervertebral disc, significantly inferior to the generally accepted and taught anatomical location at the level of intervertebral disc between C3 and C4 vertebrae. When the arteries were followed superiorly after the bifurcation, a unique second variation was observed: translocation of the external and internal carotid arteries. The external carotid artery was located posterolaterally and the internal carotid artery was located more medially. Finally, a third variation was discovered in the form of a common thyrolingual trunk that gave rise to superior thyroid and lingual arteries rather than these arising independently from the external carotid artery. Conclusions: We report a unique triple variation within the major arteries of the neck that has not been previously reported in surveyed literature. This case report may provide useful information for cardiovascular surgeons performing CEA and for otolaryngologists performing prophylactic arterial ligation following transoral robotic surgery for oropharyngeal cancer resection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1481-1484
Number of pages4
JournalSurgical and Radiologic Anatomy
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2022


  • Common carotid artery
  • External carotid artery
  • Thyrolingual trunk
  • Twisted carotid bifurcation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Surgery
  • Anatomy
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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