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

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

Inferior Thyroid Artery

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

Peer Review Status: Internally Peer Reviewed


In a study of 200 cadavers, the inferior thyroid arose from the thyrocervical trunk in 90.5%, subclavian in 7.5%, and very rarely from the common carotid, aortic arch, brachiocephalic, internal thoracic, pericardiacophrenic, or vertebral, or arose as a common stem with the contralateral inferior thyroid.

The inferior thyroid may also arise as a common trunk with the dorsal scapular and suprascapular arteries (thyroscapular trunk). It may course behind the common carotid.

Gruber (1872), in his article on the thyreodea ima artery, cites its origin as described by previous authors (note., complete references for the following individuals can be found in Gruber's article) An anatomist's Who's Who~ The thyreodea ima arises from the aortic arch, Nicolai (Goettingae 1747), Van de Bloedvaten (Lausannae 1766), Neubauer (Jenae 1772), Loder (Jenae 1781), Thiloco, (Gotha 1804), Meckel (Leipzig 1816), Velpeau (Weimar 1826), Otto (Berlin 1830), Harrison (Dublin 1839), Quain (R.) (London 1844), Gruber (Wien 1845), Hyrtl (Wien 1860).

Thyreodea ima arises from the brachiocephalic trunk: Haller (Gottingae 1756), Neubauer (Jenae 1772), Huber (Basileae 1777), Sömmerring (Frankfurt a. M. 1801), Allen (Edinburgh 1811), Meckel (Leipzig 1816), Münz (Landshut 1821), Tiedemann (Carlsruhae 1822), Velpeau (Weimar 1826), Otto (Berlin 1830), Blandin (Paris 1834), Weber (Bonn 1842), Quain (R.) (London 1844), Gruber (Wien 1845), Hillairet (Paris 1846), Nuhn (Heidelberg 1849), Führer (Berlin 1857), Hyrtl (Wien 1860), Barkow (Breslau 1866), Harrison (Dublin 1839).

The thyreodea ima arises from the common carotid: Nicolai (Goettingae 1747), Vink (Bernae et Lausannae 1776), Haller (1756), Bohmer (Halae 1763), Neubauer (Halae 1763), Huber (Halae 1763), Meckel (Leipzig 1816), Tiedemann (Leipzig 1816), Quain(R.) (London 1844), Gruber (Wien 1845), Dubrueil (Paris 1847), Meckel (Leipzig 1816). The thyreodea ima arises from the Internal thoracic or pericardiacophrenica: Lauth (Paris 1830), Theile (Leipzig 1841), Gruber (Leipzig 1841), Broca (Paris 1850), Barkow (Breslau, 1866), Luschka (Tübingen 1857), Hyrtl (Wien 1860).

This artery has been reported both absent and doubled.

Accessory inferior thyroid arteries have been reported (see Varaglia).

The inferior thyroid and its branches may lie anterior (36%), or posterior (27%) or intermingle (32%) with the recurrent laryngeal nerve.

It occasionally gives rise to branches to the anterior mediastinum, thymus, and bronchi, and may anastomose with the vertebral, superior intercostal, and bronchial arteries.

The inferior thyroid, when absent or unusually small, may be replaced or supplemented by thyroidea ima.

When the vertebral artery ascends to a level above the sixth cervical vertebra before entering the foramen in the transverse process, the inferior thyroid will pass beneath (or dorsal to) the vertebral artery in about 50% of cases.

In a study by Röhlich:
The inferior thyroid arose from a common stem with the ascending cervical artery, transverse cervical artery, and suprascapular arteries. Right side: 85 cases (85.8%); Left side: 63 cases (67.7%); total 148 cases (77%); In men, 100 cases (80%); in Women, 48 cases (71.6%).Pellegrini found this type in Italians, 63 times in 104 cases; Casili found this type in Italians 58 times in 60 cases; and Adachi found it in Japanese, 78 times in 125 body-halves.

The inferior thyroid arose with the ascending cervical and suprascapular arteries from a common stem. Right side: two cases (2%); Left side: four cases (4%); total 6 cases (3.1%); In men, 5 cases (4%); In women, 1 case (1.4%). Pellegrini found this type once in 104 cases.

The inferior thyroid arose with the ascending cervical and transverse cervical arteries from a common stem. Right side: 1 case (1%); Left side: 3 cases (3.2%); total 4 cases (2.0%); in Men, 3 cases (2.4%); in Women, 1 case (1.4%). Pellegrini found this type in Italians, 9 times in 104 cases, and Adachi found it in Japanese, 10 times in 121 cases.

The inferior thyroid arose with the transverse cervical and suprascapular arteries from a common stem. Right side, 1 case (0.5%) in a women. Pellegrini reported this type once in 104 cases.

The inferior thyroid artery arose with the transverse cervical, ascending cervical, suprascapular, and internal thoracic from a common stem. Right side: 1 case (1%); Left side: 9 cases (9.6%); total, 10 cases (5.2%); in Men, 4 cases (3.2%); in Women, 6 cases (8.9%).Pellegrini found this type in Italians, 4 times in 104 cases, and Adachi found it in Japanese, 9 times in 121 cases (7.4%).

The inferior thyroid arose with the ascending cervical, transverse cervical, and internal thoracic from a common stem. Left side. 2 cases (2.1%) in men; total, 2 cases (1%). Pellegrini found this type once in 104 cases.

The inferior thyroid arose with the ascending cervical from a common stem. Right side: 3 cases (3%); Left side: 5 cases (5.3%); total, 8 cases (4.1%); in Men, 3 cases (2.4%); in Women, 5 cases (7.4%). Pellegrini foud this type in Italians, 6 times in 104 cases, and Adachi found it in Japanese, 2 times in 121 cases.

The inferior thyroid arose alone from the subclavian artery. Right side: 1 case (1%); Left side: 4 cases (4.2%); total, 5 cases (2.6%); in Men, 2 cases (2.4%); in Women, 2 cases (2.9%). This type was found in the English in 1.2%, 4 times in 544 cases, (Committee of Collective Investigation); Germans in 1.7%, 27 times in 237 cases (Taguchi); English in 9.9%, 27 times in 274 cases (Quain); Italians in 14.2%, 15 times in 104 cases (Pellegrini); Americans in 33%, 25 times in 106 cases (Bean); and Japanese in 4.5%, 13 times in 228 cases (Adachi).

The inferor thyroid arose from the vertebral artery. Left side only: 1 case (1%) in a man; total 1/2 case (0.5%). Pellegrini found this once in 104 cases, and Adachi found it twice in 286 cases.

The inferior thyroid artery was absent. Right side; 2 cases (2%); Left side: 5 cases (5.3%); total , 7 cases (3.6%); in Men, 4 cases (3.2%); in Women, 3 cases (4.4%). Others have also reported the inferior thyroid absent: In the English, 0.2%, 1 in 544 cases (Committee of Collective Investigation); in Italians in 1.6%, 2 times in 273 cases (Pellegrini); in the English in 2.2%, 6 times in 273 cases (Quain); in Americans in 2.3%, 3 times in 131 cases (Dwight); in Swiss, in 3.6%, 4 times in 112 cases (Streckeisen); in Germans in 3.8%, 9 times in 237 cases (Taguchi); and in Japanese in 5.9%, 17 times in 287 cases (Adachi). Adachi found this to occur on the right side in 3.4%, left side in 8.5%, in men in 4%, and in women 12.9%.

The following variations have been noted by Quain: " The inferior thyroid artery occasionally arises as a singular branch from the subclavian; rarely from the common carotid or the vertebral. The primary division of the artery frequently takes place behind the common carotid. In rare instances there may be two inferior thyroid arteries arising from the subclavian. The artery or one of its branches has been found crossing anterior to the common carotid artery. A relatively large branch often passes anteriorly around the upper end of the trachea to the anterior part of the thyroid body. The inferior thyroid varies in size and may be absent. The several thyroid arteries are developed in inverse proportion to one another, diminution or absence of one is compensated for by an increased size of the others, or by an accessory artery, the thyroidea ima.

Image 104, Image 107, Image 113, Image 262, Image 314

Image 508

Accessory

See Image 262

Thyroid Ima

Image 187, Image 188, Image 236B,Image 303, Image 453


References

Allan, F.D. (1952) An accessory or superficial inferior thyroid artery in a full term infant. Anat. Rec. 112:539-542.

Anderson, R.J. (1879) Abnormal arrangement of the thyroid arteries. J. Anat. Physiol. 14:353-356.

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

Bachhuber, C.A. (1943) Complications of thyroid surgery: Anatomy of the recurrent laryngeal nerve, middle thyroid vein and inferior thyroid artery. Am. J. Surgery 60:96-99.

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.

Daseler, E.H. and B.J. Anson. (1959) Surgical anatomy of the subclavian artery and its branches. Surg., Gynecol. Obstet. 108:149-174.

DeGaris, C.F. (1924) Patterns of branching of the subclavian artery in white and negro stocks. Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 7:95-107.

Drobnik, -. (1888) Ueber das Verhältnis des Nervus recurrens zur unteren Schilddrüsenarterie. Gazeta Lekarska, 1888.

Duffour, -., Riaud, -., Cabanié and -. Laffont. (1954) Contributions a l'étude des artéres thyréoïdiennes. Assoc. Anatomistes Comptes Rendus 41:713-720.

Faller, A. and O.Schärer. (1947-48) über die Variabilität der Arteriae thyroideae. Acta Anat. 4:119-122.

Gruber, W. (1878) Ursprung der Arteria vertebralis dextra von der Subclavia knapp neben der Carotis, mit Kreuzung der Thyroidea inferior von vorn während ihres Verlaufes. Arch. Pathol. Anat. Physiol. Klin. Med. 74:433-434.

Hammer, D.L. and A.M. Meis. (1941) Thyroid arteries and anomalous subclavian in the White and the Negro. Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 28:227-237.

Henle, J. (1868) Handbuch der Systematischen Anatomie des Menschen. 3 vols. Von Friedrich Vieweg und Sohn, Braunschweig.

Hilleret, -. (1845) Brachio-cephalic tronc naît artère trhyroïdienne inférieure, dite arteries de Neubaur. Bulletins et Mem. de la Société Anatomique de Paris XX(2):40.

Jenny, H. (1912) Abnorme einseitige Verdoppelung der Arteria thyreoidea inferior. Anat. Anz. 40:623-640.

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

La Rocca, C. (1907) Rameau présternal, non encore décrit, de l'artère thyréoïdienne inférieur droite. Arch. Ital. Biol. 47:486-487.

Latarjet, A. (1948) Testut's Traite d'Anatomie Humaine, 9th ed., G. Doin & Cie., Paris.

Lee, I.N. (1955) Anomalous relationship of the inferior thyroid artery. Anat. Rec. 122:499-506.

Lohéac, P. (1925) flnomalie de I'artère thyroïdienne inferieure. Journal des Sciences Médicales de Lille 43(5):73-79.

Lurje, A.S. (1934-35) über einige Eigentümlichkeiten der Topographie der A. thyreoid. infer. im Zusammenhang mit den sie umgebenden Bildungen. Anat. Anz. 79:113-128.

Meoni, L. (1904) Contributo alla Morfologia dell' "Arteria Thyroidea inferior". Annali della Facolta di Medicina e Chirurgia della Universita degli Studi di Perugia 43:117-125.

Morestin, H. (1894) Anomalie des artères et veines rénales. Anomalie de la thyroïdienne inférieure chez le même sujet. Bull. et Mém. de la Soc. Anatomique de Paris 1894:526-527.

Nizankowski, C., Noczynski, L. and E. Suder. (1982) Variability of the origin of ramifications of the subclavian artery in humans (studies on the Polish population). Folia Morphol., Warsaw 41:281-294.

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Poynter, C.W.M. (1916) Arterial anomalies pertaining to the aortic arches and the branches arising from them. The University Studies of the University of Nebraska, Lincoln 16:229-345.

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.

Rogers, L. (1929) The thyroid arteries considered in relation to their surgical importance. J. Anat. 64:50-61.

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

Rolando, S. (1898) Sul rapporto delle arterie tiroidee inferiori col ricorrente e su di una practica operativa per evitame la lesione nella strumectomia. Bollettino della Roy. Accademia Medica di Genova. 16(3):22-48.

Shepherd, F.J. (1882) On some anatomical variations: the inferior thyroid artery. Annals of Anatomy and Surgery. 6:171.

Shepherd, F.J. (1889) Abnormal inferior thyroid arteries. Medical News, Philadelphia 1889:305-306.

Stewart, J.D. (1932) Circulation of the human thyroid. Arch. Surg. 25:1157-1165.

Todaro, F. (1879) L'arteria mediastinica superiore, ramo anomale dell'arteria tiroidea inferiore. Ricerche fatte ne Laboratorio di Anatomia Normale della R. Universita di Roma ed in Altri Laboratory Biologici. 1879:151-152.

Todaro, F. (1878) Arteria mediastinica superiore, ramo anomalo dell'arteria tiroide inferiore. Ricerche fatte nel Laboratorio di Anatomia di Roma 2 (fasc. 1.):179.

Tomashevski, V.N. (1899) Inferior thyroid artery. Russkii Varach 20:484-485.

Varaglia, S. (1899) Di un'arteria tiroidea inferiore accessoria. Giornale della R. Accademia di Medicina di Torino 63:248-252.

Varaglia, S. (1901) Sur une artère thyréoïdienne inferieur accessoire. Arch. Ital. Biol. 36:348.

Winslow, R. (1883) A study of the malformations, variations, and anomalies of the circulatory apparatus in man. Annals of Anatomy and Surgery 7:17-18.

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