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Journal of the Anatomical Society of India

Anomalous Origin Of Thyrolingual Trunk From Right Common Carotid Artery - A Case Report

Author(s): Babu B.P.

Vol. 50, No. 1 (2001-01 - 2001-06)

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A case is reported in which there was an anomalous origin of thyrolingual trunk from right common carotid artery 2cm below its bifurcation in the neck. The trunk was running forwards and medially and later it was dividing into upper lingual and lower superior thyroid branches. No such artery was seen on the left side. Key words : Thyrolingual trunk, Common Carotid Artery.


Common carotid artery is a branch of brachiocephalic trunk on the right side and arch of aorta on the left side. It normally does not give any other branch in the neck except terminal branches, external and internal carotids arteries. A rare anomalous origin of thyrolingual trunk from right common carotid artery is reported here.


During dissection of "Head and Neck"for undergraduate students for the past 12 years, about 200 head and neck dissections from 200 cadavers of both sexes have been observed for any variations in the branches of the common carotid arteries.

In one cadaver of dissection hall, a common trunk of origin of superior thyroid and lingual arteries arising from right common carotid artery was found. The artery was carefully dissected and photographed (Fig. 1 & 2). On the left side, no such artery was seen arising from common carotid artery.

Thyrolingual trunk was arising approximately about 2 cms below the bifurcation of right common carotid artery. At first, it was running forwards and medially and later it was dividing into upper lingual branch and lower superior thyroid branch.

Discussion :

There are reports in the literature of origin of lingual artery from common carotid artery, linguofacial trunk or thyrolinguofacial trunk from external carotid artery (Bergman et al., 1988). There are also reports of origin of superior thyroid, vertebral and inferior thyroid arteries from common carotid arteries (Williams et al, 1995).

The origin of thyrolingual trunk from external carotid artery has been reported with an incidence of range from 0.7-3% (Quain, 1944; Adachi, 1928; Lippert and Pabst, 1985). However its origin from common carotid artery has been reported less then 0.1% (Lippert and Pabst, 1985). The above variation is reported on account of its rarity.

Acknowledgement :

The author is thankful and grateful to Dr. Shakuntala Pai, Prof. & Head, Department of Anatomy, K.M.C., Manipal & Dean of the Institution for permitting to publish the paper.

References :

  1. Adachi, B. (1928) : Das Arterian system des japaner. BD2. Kyoto : Maryzen. p 86.
  2. Bergman, R.A; Thompson, SA,. Afifi, A.K; Saadeh, F.A. Compendium of Human Anatomic Variation, Urban and Schwarzenberg. Baltimore, p. 64 (1988)
  3. Las Javnias, P.L. Craniofacial and upper cervical arteries. Functional, Clinical and Angiographic aspects. Williams and Wilkins, Baltimore, London. (1981)
  4. Lippert, H; Pabst, R. Arterial variations in man. Classification and frequency, JF Bergan variag: Munchen.: p 83. (1985).
  5. Williams P. L; Martin M, Berry Bannister, LH: Gray's Anatomy, 38th Edition Churchill Livingstone, Edinburgh : p 1576 (1995)

J. Anat. Soc. India 50(1) 47 (2001)

Opp. 47 Thyrolingual Trunk

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Fig.1. Photograph of specimen showing anomalous thyrolingual trunk arising from right common carotid artery.

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Fig.2. A diagramatic representation of thyrolingual trunk and its branches

Abb - STM - Sternocleidomastoid; CCA - Common Carotid artery; TLT - Thyrolingual Trunk; LA - Lingual artery; ST - Superior thyroid artery

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