Carotid Space

  • The carotid space:
    • Is one of the seven deep compartments of the head and neck
  • Gross anatomy:
    • The carotid space is a roughly a cylindrical space:
      • That extends from the skull base through to the aortic arch
    • It is circumscribed by all three layers of:
      • The deep cervical fascia:
        • Forming the carotid sheath:
          • Above the carotid bifurcation:
            • The contribution of the middle layer of cervical fascia:
              • Can be inconsistent and the sheath is interrupted
    • The bifurcation of the common carotid:
      • Usually occurs at the boundary of:
        • The suprahyoid and infrahyoid spaces
  • Contents:
    • Common carotid artery:
      • Inferiorly
    • Internal carotid artery:
      • Superiorly
    • Internal jugular vein
    • Ansa cervicalis:
      • Embedded in the anterior wall of the sheath
    • Nerves:
      • Vagus nerve (CN X):
        • Posterior to the vessels:
          • In the posterior notch:
            • Extends below the hyoid to the mediastinum:
              • Within the carotid sheath
      • In the upper part of the carotid sheath, there is also:
        • Glossopharyngeal nerve (CN IX):
          • Anterior to vessels
        • Accessory nerve (CN XI)
        • Hypoglossal nerve (CN XII)
      • Sympathetic nerves:
        • Medial to the vessels and
        • Lateral to retropharyngeal space
    • Deep cervical lymph node chain:
      • Level II, III, IV
  • Relations:
    • Suprahyoid carotid space:
      • Superiorly:
        • Masticator space and
        • Para pharyngeal space
      • Laterally:
        • Parotid space
      • Posteriorly:
        • Peri vertebral space
    • The suprahyoid portion of the carotid space:
      • Is often synonymous with:
        • The post-styloid compartment of the parapharyngeal space
    • Infrahyoid carotid space:
      • Anteriorly:
        • Anterior cervical space
      • Laterally:
        • Posterior cervical space
      • Posteriorly:
        • Perivertebral space
      • Medially:
        • Retropharyngeal and visceral space
  • Boundaries:
    • Superior margin:
      • Lower border of jugular foramen
    • Inferior margin:
      • Aortic arch
    • Anterolateral margin:
      • Sternocleidomastoid muscle

#Arrangoiz #HeadandNeckSurgeon #CancerSurgeon #Teacher #SurgicaOncologist

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