Superior thyroid artery origin in Caucasian Greeks: A new classification proposal and review of the literature

Konstantinos Natsis*, Athanasios Raikos, Ioannis Foundos, George Noussios, Nikolaos Lazaridis, Samouel N. Njau

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Studies on the origin of the superior thyroid artery, define that it could originate either from the external carotid artery, (at the level of common carotid bifurcation), or from the common carotid artery. However, there is a classical anatomic knowledge that the superior thyroid artery is a branch of the external carotid artery. Variability in the anatomy of the superior thyroid artery was studied on 100 carotids. Moreover, a review about the origin of superior thyroid artery between recent and previous cadaveric, autopsy, and angiographic studies, on adults and fetuses, was carried out. The superior thyroid artery originated from the external carotid artery in 39% and at the level of carotid bifurcation and common carotid artery in 61% of cases. The anterior branches of the external carotid artery were separate in 76% of cases, while common trunks between the arteries were found in 24% of the specimens. A new classification proposal on the origin of the superior thyroid artery is also suggested. In this study, the origin of superior thyroid artery is considered at the level of the carotid bifurcation and not from the external carotid artery as stated in many classical anatomy textbooks. This has a great impact on the terminology when referring to the anterior branches of the external carotid artery, which could be termed as anterior branches of the cervical carotid artery. Head and neck surgeons must be familiar with anatomical variations of the superior thyroid artery in order to achieve a better surgical outcome. Clin. Anat. 24:699-705, 2011.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)699-705
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Anatomy
Volume24
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes

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