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Anatomy Atlases: Illustrated Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation: Opus II: Cardiovascular System: Arteries: Head, Neck, and Thorax: Ascending Cervical Artery

Illustrated Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation: Opus II: Cardiovascular System: Arteries: Head, Neck, and Thorax

Ascending Cervical Artery

Ronald A. Bergman, PhD
Adel K. Afifi, MD, MS
Ryosuke Miyauchi, MD

Peer Review Status: Internally Peer Reviewed

When this artery is absent it is replaced by branches from the superficial cervical, suprascapular, or vertebral artery. According to Röhlich the ascending cervical artery arose from the inferior thyroid artery as follows: Right side, 76 cases (79.1%); Left side, 68 cases (74.7%); total 144 cases (79.1%); in Men, 95 cases (77.2%); in Women, 53 cases (87.5%).

The ascending cervical arose with the transverse cervical artery from a common stem. Right side, 3 cases (3.1%); left side, 5 cases (5.7%); total, 8 cases (4.3%); in Men, 6 cases (4.8%); in Women, 2 cases (3.1%).

The ascending cervical arose with the superficial cervical artery from a common stem. Right side, 21 cases (21.8%); Left side, 19 cases (20.8%); total 40 cases (21.3%); in Men, 19 cases (15.4%); in Women, 11 cases (17.1%).

The ascending cervical arose with the suprascapular artery from a common trunk (with other vessels); one case, in a man (0.5%).

The ascending cervical artery was absent in only one case in Röhlich's series.

Origin of Ascending Cervical Artery (from Yazuta) based on a study of 100 bodies (200 sides) follows:

Origin of Ascending Cervical Artery.

No. / %

No. / %

No. / %

Dubrevil- Chambardel

Inferior Thyroid artery

64 / 64

67 / 67

131 / 65.5


Thyrocervical trunk

25 / 25

26 / 26

51 / 25.5


Transverse Cervical artery

4 / 4

4 / 4

8 / 4.0


Suprascapular artery

3 / 3

2 / 2

5 / 2.5


Subclavian artery

3 / 3

1 / 1

4 / 2.0


Absence of Ascend. Cervical

1 / 1


1 / 0.5


The ascending cervical artery is sometimes larger than usual and may replace the occipital artery. A branch from the ascending cervical artery may compensate for the small size of a deep cervical artery.

Image 104, Image 107, Image 308, Image 318


Anson, B.J., Ed. (1966) Morris' Human Anatomy, 12tth ed., The Blakiston Division, McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York.

Bergman, R.A., Thompson, S.A., Afifi, A.K. and F.A. Saadeh. (1988) Compendium of Human Anatomic Variation: Catalog, Atlas and World Literature. Urban & Schwarzenberg. Baltimore and Munich.

Dubrevil-Chambardel, L. (1926) Variations des Artères du Membre Superieur. Masson, Paris.

Dubrueil, J.M. (1847) Des Anomalies Artérielles. Bailliere, Paris.

Henle, J. (1868) Handbuch der Systematischen Anatomie des Menschen. Von Friedrich Vieweg und Sohn., Braunschweig.

Kopsch, F. (1908) Rauber's Lehrbuch und Atlas der Anatomie des Menschen. Georg Thieme., Leipzig.

Poynter, C.W.M. (1922) Congenital anomalies of the arteries and veins of the human body with bibliography. The University Studies of the University of Nebraska, Lincoln 22:1-106.

Röhlich, K. (1940-41) Über den Truncus thyreocervicalis des Menschen. Anat. Anz. 90:129-148.

Schaefer, E.A., Symington, and T.H. Bryce., Eds. (1915) Quain's Anatomy, 11thed., Longmans, Green and Company, London.

Yazuta, K. Varietätenstatistik des Ursprunges und der Lage einiger Äste der A. subclavia. Anat. Anz. 63:139-143.

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