Internal Carotid Artery – Overview

  • Major branch of common carotid artery
  • Origin – From common carotid artery
  • Carotid burfucation occurs at the upper border of the thyroid cartilage (C3 – C4)
  • Passes superiorly to enter the brain
  • There are two internal carotid arteries (One in either side)
  • Via carotid canal it enter into the skull and then passes through the cavernous sinus
  • Within the skull, divides into two terminal branches (Anterior cerebral arteries and Middle cerebral arteries)
Near the carotid burfication, there are two important structures which helps in the regulation of blood pressure
  • Carotid sinus – Baroreceptors
  • Carotid body –  Chemoreceptors
Download high resolution images from here
Internal carotid artery
  • Cervical part
  • Petrous part
  • Cavernous part
  • Intercranial part (after piercing the dura mater)
Relations Of Internal Carotid Artery

Relations Of Cervical Part

  • Anteriorly
    • Sternocleidomastoid muscle
    • Lingual nerve
    • Facial vein
    • Hypoglossal nerve
  • Posteriorly
    • Longus capitis
    • Pre-vertebral fascia
    • Sympathetic chain
    • Superior laryngeal nerve
  • Medially
    • External carotid artery
    • Pharynx
    • Ascending pharyngeal artery
  • Laterally
    • Internal jugular vein
    • Vagus nerve (Posterolaterally)
Relations Of Cavernous Part
  • Oculomotor nerve
  • Trochlear nerve
  • Abducent nerve
  • Trigeminal nerve (V1 and V2)
Relations Of Intracranial Part – Optic nerve
Internal carotid artery
Internal carotid artery
Download high resolution images from here
Branches Of ICA
  • Anterior cerebral artery
  • Middle cerebral artery
  • Posterior communicating artery
  • Anterior choroidal artery
  • Meningeal arteries
  • Hypophyseal arteries (Superior and inferior)
  • Ophthalmic artery
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