Acta Med. 2021, 64: 129-131

Association of Tortuous Common Carotid Artery with Abnormal Distribution of the Ansa Cervicalis: A Case Report

George Paraskevasa, Konstantinos Koutsouflianiotisa, Chrysanthos Chrysanthoua, Kalliopi Ilioua, Nikolaos Syrmosa, Marios Salmasb

aDepartment of Anatomy and Surgical Anatomy, School of Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
bDepartment of Anatomy and Surgical Anatomy, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece

Received July 13, 2020
Accepted January 29, 2021

In the current study, we display a rare association of an aberrant innervation of the sternocleidomastoid muscle by the ansa cervicalis (AC) with a tortuous common carotid artery (TCCA). In specific, in a male cadaver we observed on the right side of the cervical region, a nerval branch of remarkable size originating from the most distal part of the AC’s superior root and after piercing the superior belly of the omohyoid muscle innervated the distal portion of the sternocleidomastoid muscle. Furthermore, we noticed a tortuous course of the initial part of the right common carotid artery. We discuss the surgical significance of the awareness of AC’s variations during neurotisation of the recurrent laryngeal nerve in cases of its damage, as well as the importance of aberrant innervation of the sternocleidomastoid muscle by AC for the preservation of muscle’s functionality after accessory nerve’s damage. Furthermore, we highlight the fact, that the knowledge of the relatively uncommon variant, such as TCCA is crucial for the physician in order to proceed more effectively in differential diagnosis of a palpable mass of the anterior cervical region or deal with symptoms such as dyspnea, dysphagia or symptoms of cerebrovascular insufficiency.


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