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A study of superior thyroid artery in 50 cadavers

Authors:Jitendra P Patel, Rashmikant V Dave, Ritesh K Shah, Sanjay D Kanani, Ashok B Nirvan
Int J Biol Med Res. 2013; 4(1): 2875-2878  |  PDF File


Introduction: The superior thyroid artery (STA) is the chief artery which supplies blood to the thyroid gland, upper part of larynx and the neck region. The knowledge of variations in the origin of STA is important for surgical procedures in the neck region, such as radical neck dissection, catheterization, reconstruction of aneurysm, carotid endarterectomy and intervention radiology. Methods: The surgical anatomy of the STA was studied in 50 formalin preserved cadavers between the ages of 60 to 80 years. Dissection method was employed for this study. Results & Observations: The location of the origin of the superior thyroid artery according to common carotid artery was evaluated as above the bifurcation of common carotid artery (77 %), at same level the bifurcation of common carotid artery (23%) and below the bifurcation of common carotid artery (0%). Conclusion: During radical neck surgery, the most feared complication is the rupture of the superior thyroid artery and its branches. Iatrogenic injury can be avoided with this knowledge as well as possible anatomic and pathological variation that may exist. All diagnosis and surgical procedures involving suprasternal fossa, tracheostomy in particular, require a careful approach because of possible existence of lowest thyroid artery or thyroid ima artery.