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open access eISSN 2093-3673

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Anat Cell Biol

Published online January 18, 2024


Copyright © Korean Association of ANATOMISTS.

Persisting carotid duct and proximal external carotid artery agenesis in an adult

Mugurel Constantin Rusu1 , Adelina Maria Jianu2 , Alexandra Diana Vrapciu1,3 , Mihaela Daniela Manta2

1Division of Anatomy, Faculty of Dentistry, Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Bucharest, 2Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Victor Babeș University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Timișoara, 3Department of Ophthalmology, University Emergency Hospital Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania

Correspondence to:Mugurel Constantin Rusu
Division of Anatomy, Faculty of Dentistry, Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Bucharest 050474, Romania
E-mail: mugurel.rusu@umfcd.ro

Received: July 24, 2023; Revised: October 21, 2023; Accepted: November 29, 2023

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The carotid duct (CD) is a transient embryological structure connecting the 3rd and 4th aortic arches. We found a persisting CD in an adult female case, by studying the computed tomography angiogram. On the left side, the proximal external carotid artery (ECA) agenesis was noted. The CD was inserted into the left subclavian artery and continued upwards to reach the level of the atlas, and then it descended to connect to a normally configured segment of that ECA. It could be speculated that the CD-to-ECA connection was possible via unregressed 1st and/or 2nd aortic arches. The segmental ECA agenesis is extremely rare, while its supply via a persisting patent CD was not reported previously to the authors’ knowledge. The variants are extremely important during neck surgery because damaging the CD could determine hemorrhage, as well as ischemia in the ECA territory.

Keywords: Aortic arch, Carotid artery, Neck

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