Carotid artery
A key artery located in the front of the neck though which blood from the heart goes to the brain. There are 2 carotid arteries — the right and left common carotid arteries — on each side of the neck. Together, the right and left common carotid arteries provide the principal blood supply to the head and neck. The left common carotid arises directly from the aorta (the huge artery that comes from the heart). The right common carotid artery arises from the brachiocephalic artery which, in turn, comes off the aorta. Each of the two common carotid arteries divides to form external and internal carotid arteries. The external carotids are more superficial (closer to the surface) than the internal carotids (which run deep within the neck). Cholesterol plaques on the inner wall of the carotid artery can lead to strokes. Carotid comes from the Greek "karotides" which referred to the main arteries going to the head. Interestingly, "karotides" was related to the words "katotikos", stupefying and "karos", deep sleep. The ancient Greeks knew that firm pressure on the carotid arteries produced "deep sleep" by rendering a person unconscious. "Karotides" also led to the Spanish word "garrote", a term that has entered English, designating both a method of execution by strangulation and the implement (such as a wire, for example, with a handle at each end) used to garrote someone. Garroting caused "deep sleep" (insensibility) and, often, "permanent sleep" (death).

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carotid artery n either of the two main arteries that supply blood to the head of which the left in humans arises from the arch of the aorta and the right by bifurcation of the brachiocephalic artery with each passing along the corresponding anterolateral aspect of the neck and dividing opposite the upper border of the thyroid cartilage into an external branch supplying the face, tongue, and external parts of the head and an internal branch supplying the brain, eye, and other internal parts of the head called also carotid see COMMON CAROTID ARTERY, EXTERNAL CAROTID ARTERY, INTERNAL CAROTID ARTERY

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either of the two main arteries in the neck whose branches supply the head and neck. The common carotid artery arises on the left side directly from the aortic arch and on the right from the innominate artery. They ascend the neck on either side as far as the thyroid cartilage (Adam's apple), where they each divide into two branches, the internal carotid, supplying the cerebrum, forehead, nose, eye, and middle ear, and the external carotid, sending branches to the face, scalp, and neck.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • carotid artery — ▪ anatomy       one of several arteries that supply blood to the head and neck. Of the two common carotid arteries, which extend headward on each side of the neck, the left originates in the arch of the aorta over the heart; the right originates… …   Universalium

  • carotid artery — noun either of two major arteries of the neck and head; branches from the aorta • Syn: ↑arteria carotis • Hypernyms: ↑artery, ↑arteria, ↑arterial blood vessel • Hyponyms: ↑common carotid artery, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • carotid artery — either of the two main arteries in the neck whose branches supply the head and neck. The common carotid artery arises on the left side directly from the aortic arch and on the right from the innominate artery. They ascend the neck on either side… …   The new mediacal dictionary

  • carotid artery — UK [kəˌrɒtɪd ˈɑː(r)tərɪ] / US [kəˌrɑtɪd ˈɑrtərɪ] noun [countable] Word forms carotid artery : singular carotid artery plural carotid arteries medical one of the two main arteries on each side of your neck that carry blood from your heart to your… …   English dictionary

  • carotid artery — [[t]kərɒ̱tɪd ɑ͟ː(r)təri[/t]] carotid arteries N COUNT A carotid artery is one of the two arteries in the neck that supply the head with blood. [MEDICAL] …   English dictionary

  • carotid artery — A major artery that carries blood from the heart to the head. There is a carotid artery on each side of the neck, and each one splits into two branches. The interior branch carries blood to the brain and eyes, and the exterior branch carries… …   English dictionary of cancer terms

  • carotid artery — ca|rot|id ar|te|ry [kəˈrɔtıd ˌa:təri US ˈra:tıd ˌa:r ] n medical [Date: 1600 1700; : French; Origin: carotide, from Greek karotides carotid arteries , from karoun to make unconscious ] one of the two arteries in your neck that supply blood to… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • carotid artery — an artery originating at the junction of the first two aortic arches and supplying the anterior brain …   Dictionary of ichthyology

  • carotid artery — noun (C) technical one of the two arteries (artery (1)) in your neck, that supply blood to your head …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • carotid artery — noun Either of a pair of arteries, each side of the neck, which branch from the aorta and supply blood to the head …   Wiktionary

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