internal carotid artery
RelationsPosterior to the intercarotid are the longus capitis and the sympathetic trunk. The vagus is posterolateral, and so also are the glossopharyngeal, accessory, and hypoglossal, near the base of the skull.
The internal jugular vein is lateral, except near the skull where it becomes posterior. Medially, the internal carotid is related to the constrictors of the pharynx.
The structures that are superficial to it are very numerous. In the first part of its extent, it lies in the carotid triangle, and is therefore fairly near the surface. It is covered by the skin, platysma, and faciae, and is overlapped by the sternomastoid muscle. It is crossed by the lingual and common facial veins, the occipital artery, and by the hypoglossal nerve. The descendes hypoglossi descends on its superficial surface.
As it proceeds upwards, it passes under cover of the posterior belly of the digastric, the stylohyoid, the stylopharyngeus, and the styloid process, which separate it from the parotid gland.
The relationship of the external carotid artery to the internal carotid is a varying one. At first the external carotid is antero-medial to the internal carotid, but it inclines backwards and soon comes to lie superficial to the internal carotid. The following structures intervene between the two vessels:
Related category• ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY
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