Indexed on: 21 Oct '05Published on: 21 Oct '05Published in: Surgical and Radiologic Anatomy
The common carotid artery (CCA) bifurcation is of clinical importance due to its vascular access site for intravascular intervention. Additionally, it is also one of the most common sites of atherosclerotic plaque formation. There are numerous studies on the diameters of CCA, internal carotid artery (ICA), and external carotid artery (ECA) in adults, but few studies on newborns. Cadaver and angiographic studies have shown dimensional variations in the carotid arteries within/between individuals and also between different sexes. It is well known that the initial lesions of atherosclerosis begin very early in fetal life. Therefore, it is important to know the anatomical details of the CCA and its branches. In the present study, the neck regions of 20 (11 males and 9 females) fixed newborn cadavers were dissected. The CCAs were cut below the bulb of the carotid bifurcation further; ICA and ECA were cut above the bulb of the carotid bifurcation. The internal diameters of the CCA, ICA, and ECA were measured using a light microscopy. ECA/CCA, ICA/CCA, ICA/ECA ratios, and outflow to inflow area ratio were calculated. The mean outflow to inflow area ratio was 1.14+/-0.28. Our results highly correlated with the defined optimal ratio (1.15). The ECA/CCA, ICA/CCA, and ICA/ECA ratios were 0.78+/-0.12, 0.71+/-0.13, and 0.93+/-0.16, respectively. There were no statistically significant differences between male and female and also between right and left sides. These findings are of importance in understanding the anatomy of carotid artery during newborn period.