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Anatomy Research International
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 6907472, 8 pages
Review Article

Anatomical Considerations on Surgical Anatomy of the Carotid Bifurcation

1Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, 17 Mikras Asias Street, Goudi, 15771 Athens, Greece
23rd Department of Surgery, Attikon University Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, 12243 Athens, Greece

Received 25 December 2015; Revised 12 February 2016; Accepted 16 February 2016

Academic Editor: Friedrich Paulsen

Copyright © 2016 Adamantios Michalinos et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Surgical anatomy of carotid bifurcation is of unique importance for numerous medical specialties. Despite extensive research, many aspects such as precise height of carotid bifurcation, micrometric values of carotid arteries and their branches as their diameter, length, and degree of tortuosity, and variations of proximal external carotid artery branches are undetermined. Furthermore carotid bifurcation is involved in many pathologic processes, atheromatous disease being the commonest. Carotid atheromatous disease is a major predisposing factor for disabling and possibly fatal strokes with geometry of carotid bifurcation playing an important role in its natural history. Consequently detailed knowledge of various anatomic parameters is of paramount importance not only for understanding of the disease but also for design of surgical treatment, especially selection between carotid endarterectomy and carotid stenting. Carotid bifurcation paragangliomas constitute unique tumors with diagnostic accuracy, treatment design, and success of operative intervention dependent on precise knowledge of anatomy. Considering those, it becomes clear that selection and application of proper surgical therapy should consider anatomical details. Further research might ameliorate available treatment options or even lead to innovative ones.