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Blood Supply to the Head: Arteries and Veins

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14 Questions

Which artery supplies most of the face and neck?

External carotid

What is the primary source of blood supply to the brain?

Both the internal carotid and vertebral arteries

Which artery emerges directly from the aorta on the left hand side?

Both the common carotid and subclavian

Which of the following vessels branches from the external carotid artery?

All of the above

Which foramen does the vertebral artery enter through?


What is the name of the circle that the internal carotid and vertebral arteries contribute to?

Circle of Willis

What are the two main vessels of interest from the subclavian artery?

Vertebral and Thyrocervical trunk

What is the target of the Inferior thyroid vessel?

Inferior aspect of thyroid and larynx

What is the path of the Ascending cervical vessel?

Laterally in front of scalenus anterior and brachial plexus

Where does blood drainage of the brain occur?

Into venous sinuses

What type of veins drain the brain tissues close to the surface?

Only superficial cerebral veins

Where do the venous sinuses ultimately lead to?

Sigmoid sinus

What type of vein accompanies the facial artery?

Facial vein

Where do the internal jugular and external jugular veins ultimately lead to?

Brachiocephalic vein

Study Notes

Blood Supply to the Head

  • The four main arteries supplying the head are: External Carotid, Internal Carotid, Vertebral, and Thyrocervical Trunk.
  • On the left side, the Common Carotid and Subclavian arteries emerge directly from the Aorta.
  • On the right side, the Common Carotid and Subclavian arteries emerge from the Brachiocephalic.
  • The External Carotid artery supplies most of the face and neck, with key branches including:
    • Superior Thyroid artery
    • Ascending Pharyngeal artery
    • Lingual artery
    • Facial artery
    • Occipital artery
    • Posterior Auricular artery
    • Maxillary artery
    • Superficial Temporal artery
  • The brain is primarily supplied by two vessels: Internal Carotid and Vertebral arteries.
  • The Internal Carotid artery supplies the eyes, nose, and forehead through the Ophthalmic arteries.
  • The Vertebral artery supplies the vertebral bodies through small branches.

Blood Supply to the Brain

  • The Internal Carotid and Vertebral arteries contribute to the Circle of Willis, which perfuses the brain.

Branches of the Subclavian Artery

  • The two main vessels of interest from the Subclavian artery are the Vertebral and Thyrocervical Trunk arteries.
  • The Thyrocervical Trunk branches into:
    • Inferior Thyroid artery (supplies the inferior aspect of the thyroid and Larynx)
    • Ascending Cervical artery (supplies the Spinal Cord and membranes, and the bodies of vertebrae)
    • Transverse Cervical artery (supplies the Trapezius muscle)
    • Suprascapular artery (supplies the SCM and Scapula)

Blood Drainage of the Brain

  • Blood from the brain drains into Venous Sinuses.
  • Superficial and Deep Cerebral Veins drain the brain tissues into vessels either close to the surface or the Great Cerebral Vein inferiorly.
  • The Sinuses collecting blood ultimately lead into the Sigmoid Sinus, which exits the skull via the Jugular Foramen to become the Internal Jugular Vein.

Blood Drainage of the Head and Face

  • Veins accompany the same named arteries, e.g. Facial Vein.
  • The Anterior aspect of the face drains into the Internal Jugular Vein.
  • The Side of the face and scalp drain into the External Jugular Vein.
  • Both vessels deliver blood to the Brachiocephalic Vein.

Quiz about the blood supply to the head, covering the main arteries, including the external carotid, internal carotid, vertebral, and thyrocervical trunk, and their origins.

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