Internal Carotid Artery
Internal Carotid Artery arises at the bifurcation of the common carotid
artery near the superior horn of the thyroid cartilage. It has no named branches
in the neck. It ascends within the carotid sheath to enter the cranial cavity
via the carotid canal.
The internal carotid arteries
contribute the major portion of the arterial supply of the brain (anterior and
A common site for a carotid endarterectomy (opening the artery and stripping off
the plaque with the adjacent intima) is the internal carotid artery, just superior
to its origin. The internal carotid contributes to the arterial Circle of Willis.
Unilateral neurologic symptoms and signs suggest carotid ischemia, whereas, bilateral
symptoms and signs implicate vertebrobasilar ischemia. Clinically, middle cerebral
artery occlusion includes contralateral hemiparesis and sensory loss (worse in
arms and face); vertebrobasilar occulsion is dominated by the presence of vertigo,
ataxia, ipsilateral sensory loss in the face, and contralateral hemiparesis and
sensory loss in the trunk and limbs.