Background. The intraarterial approach is one of the most important routes for the administration of anticancer drugs for head and neck cancer. A profound knowledge of the anatomical characteristics and variations of the carotid artery, such as its branching pattern, length, and inner diameter, is essential to avoid complications with catheter insertion. Methods. We conducted a morphometric investigation of head and neck arteries in 29 Japanese cadavers (58 sites). Results. The branching pattern of the external carotid artery showed variations. In 65.5% of the cadavers, the lingual, facial, and superior thyroid arteries arose separately. However, in 31.0% of the cadavers, the lingual artery formed a common trunk with the facial artery, and in 3.5%, the lingual artery formed a common trunk with the superior thyroid artery. The transverse facial artery arose from the superficial temporal artery in 53.4% of the specimens, from the maxillary artery in 27.6%, and from a site central to the maxillary artery in 19.0%. The posterior auricular artery arose from the external carotid artery at the same level as the maxillary artery in 37.9% of specimens, and from a site central to the maxillary artery in 62.1%. The occipital artery arose from the external carotid artery at the same level as the maxillary artery in 55.2% of specimens, and from a site peripheral to the facial artery in 44.8%. The lengths from the auricular point to the origins of the upper branches of the external carotid artery were: 2.8 mm to the transverse facial artery, 3.2 cm to the maxillary artery, 3.8 cm to the posterior auricular artery, 6.6 cm to the occipital artery, 7.4 cm to the facial artery, 8.8 cm to the lingual artery, and 10.4 cm to the superior thyroid artery. Conclusions. These results, have led to some clarification of the clinicoanatomical basis for intraarterial infusion. These data should be helpful for assessing the approximate level of the catheter tip and for evaluating whether the catheter is placed appropriately, by transient staining of the infused area.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||International Journal of Clinical Oncology|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 1999|
- Anatomical study
- Head and neck cancer
- Intraarterial chemotherapy
ASJC Scopus subject areas