Carotid tubercle

Dr Henry Knipe and Dr Chris Rothe et al.

The carotid tubercle is a commonly used term referring to the paired anterior tubercles of the transverse processes of the sixth cervical vertebrae 1. The carotid tubercle serves as an important landmark with respect to performing regional anesthesia such as a brachial plexus and cervical plexus block. It can also serve as a marker to determine an appropriate surgical incision site when performing anterior cervical surgery 1,2

Gross anatomy

The carotid tubercle separates the common carotid artery from the vertebral artery and it forms the apex of the colliscalene triangle.

Attachments
Musculotendinous
  • site of insertion of the lower fibers (inferior oblique portion) of the longus colli muscle (in addition to the anterior tubercles of the transverse process of C5)
  • scalenus anterior muscle also originates from the carotid tubercles (in addition to the anterior tubercles of the transverse processes of C3-C5)
  • longus capitis originates from the carotid tubercles (in addition to the anterior tubercles of the transverse processes of C3-C5)

History and anatomy

The carotid tubercle is also known as the Chassaignac tubercle, named after the French physician Edouard Chassaignac.

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Article information

rID: 65880
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Chassaignac tubercle

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