Carotid triangle

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Carotid triangle
Musculi coli base, my edits for tringles, Carotid T.svg
Carotid triangle
Side of neck, showing chief surface markings. (Nerves are yellow, arteries are red.)
Latin trigonum caroticum
Gray's p.564

The carotid triangle (or superior carotid triangle) is a portion of the anterior triangle of the neck.

Coverings and boundaries[edit]

It is bounded:

It is covered by the integument, superficial fascia, Platysma and deep fascia; ramifying in which are branches of the facial and cutaneous cervical nerves.

Its floor is formed by parts of the Thyrohyoid, Hyoglossus, and the Constrictores pharyngis medius and inferior.


This space when dissected is seen to contain the upper part of the common carotid artery, which bifurcates opposite the upper border of the thyroid cartilage into the external and internal carotid. These vessels are somewhat concealed from view by the anterior margin of the Sternocleidomastoideus, which overlaps them.

The external and internal carotids lie side by side, the external being the more anterior of the two.

The following branches of the external carotid are also met with in this space:


The veins met with are:

...all of which end in the internal jugular.


Superficial to the carotid sheath lies the hypoglossal nerve and ansa cervicalis of the cervical plexus.

The hypoglossal nerve crosses both the internal and external carotids, curving around the origin of the occipital artery.

Within the sheath, between the artery and vein, and behind both, is the vagus nerve; behind the sheath, the sympathetic trunk.

On the lateral side of the vessels, the accessory nerve runs for a short distance before it pierces the Sternocleidomastoideus; and on the medial side of the external carotid, just below the hyoid bone, the internal branch of the superior laryngeal nerve may be seen; and, still more inferiorly, the external branch of the same nerve.

Other contents[edit]

The upper portion of the larynx and lower portion of the pharynx are also found in the front part of this space.

See also[edit]

Carotid triangle's applied anatomy

Additional images[edit]


This article incorporates text from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy.

External links[edit]