Retropharyngeal carotid artery

Case contributed by Dr Varun Babu


Snoring and obstructive sleep apnea

Patient Data

Age: 60 years
Gender: Male

Plain CT paranasal sinuses

Reduction in caliber of the oropharyngeal airway secondary to extraluminal compression by ectatic retropharyngeal right internal carotid artery. Both carotid arteries demonstrate a retropharyngeal course, right more than left. 

Case Discussion

Retropharyngeal carotid artery following an ectatic course can impress the posterior oropharyngeal wall. When seen bilaterally, they are called 'kissing carotids'. The identification is important to prevent any catastrophic iatrogenic injury.  

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Case information

rID: 47863
Published: 6th Sep 2016
Last edited: 6th Sep 2016
System: Head & Neck
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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