Microsurgical anatomy of the human carotid body (glomus caroticum): Features of its detailed topography, syntopy and morphology.


The human glomus caroticum (GC) is not readily accessible during ordinary anatomical teaching courses because of insufficient time and difficulties encountered in the preparation. Accordingly, most anatomical descriptions of its location, relationship to neighboring structures, size and shape are supported only by drawings, but not by photographs. The aim of this study is to present the GC with all associated roots and branches. Following microscope-assisted dissection and precise photo-documentation, a detailed analysis of location, syntopy and morphology was performed. We carried out this study on 46 bifurcations of the common carotid artery (CCA) into the external (ECA) and internal (ICA) carotid arteries and identified the GC in 40 (91%) of them. We found significant variations regarding the location of the GC and its syntopy: GC was associated with CCA (42%), ECA (28%) and ICA (30%) lying on the medial or lateral surface (82% or 13%, respectively) or exactly in the middle (5%) of the bifurcation. The short and long diameter of its oval form varied from 1.0 × 2.0 to 5.0 × 5.0mm. Connections with the sympathetic trunk (100%), glossopharyngeal (93%), vagus (79%) and hypoglossal nerve (90%) could be established in 29 cadavers. We conclude that precise knowledge of this enormous variety might be very helpful not only to students in medicine and dentistry during anatomical dissection courses, but also to surgeons working in this field.

DOI: 10.1016/j.aanat.2015.11.009

Cite this paper

@article{Schulz2016MicrosurgicalAO, title={Microsurgical anatomy of the human carotid body (glomus caroticum): Features of its detailed topography, syntopy and morphology.}, author={Sissy-Amelie Schulz and Aliona W{\"{o}hler and Dirk Beutner and Doychin Nikolov Angelov}, journal={Annals of anatomy = Anatomischer Anzeiger : official organ of the Anatomische Gesellschaft}, year={2016}, volume={204}, pages={106-13} }