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.
- 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.
- 1. Cha YD, Lee SK, Kim TJ, Han TH. The neck crease as a landmark of Chassaignac's tubercle in stellate ganglion block: anatomical and radiological evaluation. (2002) Acta anaesthesiologica Scandinavica. 46 (1): 100-2. Pubmed
- 2. Lee JH, Lee JH, Lee HS, Lee DY, Lee DO. The efficacy of carotid tubercle as an anatomical landmark for identification of cervical spinal level in the anterior cervical surgery: comparison with preoperative C-arm fluoroscopy. (2013) Clinics in orthopedic surgery. 5 (2): 129-33. doi:10.4055/cios.2013.5.2.129 - Pubmed