Retropharyngeal carotid arteries (kissing carotids)

Case contributed by Dr Safwat Mohammad Almoghazy


A case of metastatic breast cancer on hormonal treatment and follow-up.

Patient Data

Age: 60 years
Gender: Female

Aberrant bilateral internal carotid artery retropharyngeal course ("kissing carotids"). 

Multinodular goiter is noted for US correlation. 

Aberrant bilateral internal carotid artery retropharyngeal course ("kissing carotids") in red. 

Case Discussion

"Kissing carotids" is the term used to identify an anatomic variant in which the carotid arteries are tortuous and elongated and come in close proximity at the midline. Although more common in the retropharyngeal space as in our patient, it is also possible to be seen retrosphenoid. It is important to note this variant if there is the possibility of retropharyngeal surgery, as damaging these vessels would be catastrophic.

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Case information

rID: 54151
Published: 2nd Jul 2017
Last edited: 16th Jul 2018
System: Vascular
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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