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Superior thyroid artery

Other Terms: Arteria thyroidea superior, Artère thyroïdienne supérieure


The superior thyroid artery is the first branch given off from the external carotid artery. It arises just below the greater cornu of the hyoid bone. Through most of its course, it occupies the superior carotid triangle. It passes forward and then downward and inward behind the omohyoid, sternothyroid, and sternohyoid muscles to the upper and front part of the thyroid body, in which it terminates. Its branches are the infrahyoid, middle sternocleidomastoid, superior laryngeal, and the cricothyroid arteries. The infrahyoid artery is very small. It runs inward along the lower border of the hyoid bone, beneath the thyrohyoid muscle, supplying the infrahyoid bursa and the thyrohyoid muscle. It communicates with the infrahyoid artery of the opposite side and with the suprahyoid branch of the lingual artery. The middle sternocleidomastoid artery passes downward and outward over the sheath of the common carotid artery in the superior carotid triangle. It is chiefly distributed to the middle portion of the sternocleidomastoid muscle. It also supplies the thyrohyoid, sternothyroid, sternohyoid, omohyoid, and platysma myoides muscles, and the overlying skin. The superior laryngeal artery is larger than either of the two preceding branches. It is accompanied by the internal branch of the superior laryngeal nerve. It passes beneath the thyrohyoid muscle and pierces the thyrohyoid membrane. It supplies the muscles and mucous membrane of the larynx. It anastomoses with the superior laryngeal artery of the opposite side and the inferior laryngeal branch of the inferior thyroid artery. Sometimes, it enters the larynx through a foramen in the thyroid cartilage. The cricothyroid artery runs across the cricothyroid membrane, just below the lower border of the thyroid cartilage. it is continuous with the cricothyroid artery of the opposite side. A small branch usually passes through the cricothyroid membrane to the interior of the larynx.


Arteria thyroidea superior


Artère thyroïdienne supérieure


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