The origin and distribution of vasa vasorum at the bifurcation of the common carotid artery with atherosclerosis.
The purpose of our study was to determine the origin and relation of vasa vasorum to atherosclerotic plaque at the bifurcation of the common carotid artery. We randomly selected 12 unembalmed adult human cadavers, 40-96 years of age. We prepared luminal casts of the arteries from eight cadavers and cleared the arteries from the remaining four cadavers. A network of vasa vasorum surrounding atherosclerotic plaque was observed in five luminal casts and in two cleared specimens; the vasa vasorum originated from the superior thyroid and ascending pharyngeal arteries. Three of the five luminal casts also demonstrated vasa vasorum arising directly from the internal carotid artery distal to the plaque. An extensive network of vasa vasorum was not observed in specimens from the five cadavers relatively free of gross atherosclerotic plaque. Our findings demonstrate the importance of the external carotid artery in giving rise to the vasa vasorum that supply the areas of atherosclerotic plaque.
- Copyright © 1989 by American Heart Association