The right common carotid artery originates at the bifurcation of the brachiocephalic trunk deep to the right sternoclavicular joint. It runs within the carotid sheath superiorly and slightly posteriorly. Within the sheath it is sited medial to the internal jugular vein with the vagus nerve interposed between them.
The artery gives off no branches before its terminal division posterolateral to the larynx just inferior to the level of greater horn of the hyoid bone. It forms the carotid sinus and then divides into the right internal and external carotid arteries.
Commonly, the carotid pulse is used for assessment of the characteristics of the pulse waveform.
Last reviewed 01/2018