Thyroidea ima artery

The thyroidea ima artery is an uncommon variant of the blood supply to the inferior aspect of the thyroid gland. It is reported in ~7.5% (range 1.5-12.2%) of individuals and can arise from:

The thyroidea ima artery ascends on the anterior surface of the trachea and supplies both the trachea and thyroid and may terminate as a single trunk or as multiple bifurcations.

It is often associated with absent inferior thyroid arteries. When an anomalous artery arises from the subclavian artery directly, rather than from the thyrocervical trunk, it is referred to as an accessory inferior thyroid artery, rather than a thyroidea ima artery.

Clinical significance

The clinical significance of the thyroidea ima artery becomes clear during head and neck surgery, particularly thyroidectomy. If unrecognised it can be a source of brisk and potentially difficult to control bleeding, as the cut vessel may retract behind the manubrium.

History and etymology

First described by Neubauer in 1786 and was originally called the thyroid artery of Neubauer.

Head and neck anatomy
Share article

Article Information

rID: 2184
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Lowest thyroid artery
  • Thyroid artery of Neubauer
  • Thyroid ima artery

Support Radiopaedia and see fewer ads

Cases and Figures

  • Drag
    Case 1: DSA
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Drag
    Case 2: arising from aortic arch (CTA)
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Updating… Please wait.
    Loadinganimation

    Alert accept

    Error Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

    Alert accept Thank you for updating your details.