Blood Supply (Arteries and Veins) of Head and Neck
Blood supply- Arteries
The arterial supply of the head and neck is derived from the
- common carotid
- vertebral and
- subclavian arteries
- The right common carotid arises from the brachiocephalic trunk.
- The left common carotid arises from the aortic arch directly.
- The common carotid runs upwards in the neck to the upper border of the thyroid cartilage.
- Then it divides into external and internal carotid arteries.
The external carotid artery
- The external carotid artery provides the major blood supply for the face and mouth.
- The two major terminal branches of the external carotid artery are the maxillary and the facial arteries.
- The maxillary artery is the large of the two terminal branches of the external carotid artery.
The maxillary artery
- It arises behind the angle of the mandible and supplies the deep structures of the face.
- Major branches of the maxillary artery:
1. Infraorbital artery
2. Posterior superior alveolar artery
3. Inferior alveolar artery
Infraorbital artery gives branches to anterior and middle superior alveolar arteries. Their distribution to the maxillary incisors and cuspid teeth and to the maxillary sinuses.
Posterior superior alveolar artery. Its distribution is to the maxillary molar and premolar teeth and gingiva.
Inferior alveolar artery. It descends close to the medial surface of the mandibular ramus to the mandibular foramen. Before entering the foramen, it gives off the mylohyoid branch which supplies tissues in the floor of the mouth.
The facial artery
- The facial artery is the other major branch of the external carotid artery.
- It enters the face at the inferior border of the mandible. It passes forward and upward across the cheek towards the angle of the mouth.
- It continues upward along the side of the nose and ends at the medial canthus (inner corner) of the eye.
The lingual artery also is a branch of the external carotid artery.
Its distribution is along the surface of the tongue
The internal carotid artery
- The internal carotid artery has a dilation at its root, the carotid sinus.
- The internal carotid artery has no branches outside the skull and enters the skull through the carotid canal.
- Inside the skull the internal carotid artery gives off the ophthalmic artery which supplies the optic nerve, eye, orbit and scalp
Head and neck major veins drainage
- The venous drainage of the head and neck begins as drainage of the brain.
- The superior and inferior sagittal sinuses drain to the transverse then sigmoid sinuses to form the internal jugular vein.
- The ophthalmic veins from the orbit drain backwards to the cavernous sinus or forwards to the facial vein.
Head and neck major veins
- The cavernous sinus drains to the pterygoid plexus of veins, through the superior petrosal sinus to the transverse sinus and through the inferior petrosal sinus to the internal jugular vein
1. Facial vein
2. Cavernous sinus
3. Pituitary plexus
4. Superior petrosal sinus
5. Inferior petrosal sinus
6. Internal jugular vein
7. Transverse sinus
8. Confluence of sinuses
- The maxillary and superficial temporal veins form the retromandibular vein behind the angle of the mandible
- The retromandibular vein communicates with the external jugular vein and the internal jugular vein.
- The facial vein drains into the internal jugular vein.
- The internal jugular vein empties into the superior veina cava, which returns blood from the upper portion of the body to right atrium of the heart.