Occipital artery

Last revised by Dr Calum Worsley on 23 Feb 2022

The occipital artery, a posterior branch of the external carotid artery, opposite the facial artery, near the lower margin of the posterior belly of the digastic muscle, and ends in the posterior part of the scalp.

Summary
  • origin: branch of the external carotid artery at the level of the posterior belly of digastric muscle
  • course: ascends posteriorly towards the occiput
  • branches
    • sternocleidomastoid branch
    • auricular branch
    • mastoid branch
    • descending branches
    • occipital branches
  • termination: scalp over occipital bone
  • key relationships: terminal portion accompanied by the greater occipital nerve

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Cases and figures

  • Schematic : branches of the external carotid artery
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  • Schematic : branches of the carotid
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