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Occipital Artery

The occipital artery arises from the posterior surface of the external carotid artery, and goes through Internal carotid artery Internal jugular vein, and vagus and accessory nerves.

Interactive Anatomical Interface

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facial artery
transverse facial artery
occipital artery
internal carotid artery
external carotid artery
carotid sinus
superficial temporal artery
Angular artery
supratrochlear artery
Supraorbital artery
inferior labial artery
superior labial artery
buccal artery
maxillary artery
temporal artery
infraorbital artery
inferior alveolar artery
Dorsal Nasal Artery
ophthalmic artery
Lingual Artery

Highlight
facial artery
transverse facial artery
occipital artery
internal carotid artery
external carotid artery
carotid sinus
superficial temporal artery
Angular artery
supratrochlear artery
Dorsal Nasal Artery

Highlight
Supraorbital artery
inferior labial artery
superior labial artery
buccal artery
maxillary artery
temporal artery
infraorbital artery
inferior alveolar artery
ophthalmic artery
Lingual Artery

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Occipital Artery

Occipital Artery

Origin

The occipital artery arises from the posterior surface of the external carotid artery, in proportion to the angle of the mandible, and travels posteriorly and upwards, and is superficially traversed by the hypoglossal nerve.

Insertion

It is enclosed in the posterior belly of the digastricus and the stylohyoideus muscles at its beginning and the hypoglossal nerve coils around it from behind forward; higher up, it goes through

  •  Internal carotid artery
  •  Internal jugular vein
  •  Vagus and accessory nerves.

Course

It subsequently rises upwards towards the gap in the middle of the transverse process of the atlas along with the mastoid process of the temporal bone.

It then travels horizontally backward and is enclosed by:

    •  Sternocleidomastoideus
    •  splenius capitis
    •  Longissimus capitis
  •  digastricus

Located upon

  •  Rectus capitis lateralis
  •  Obliquus superior
  •  semispinalis capitis

It then alters its path and travels vertically upward, penetrates the fascia linking the cranial attachment of the trapezius and the sternocleidomastoideus, and ascends within a twisted course inside the superficial fascia of the scalp.

Here it divides into various branches, which get to the extent that of the vertex of the skull and also anastomose with the posterior auricular as well as superficial temporal arteries.

Branches

  • Sternocleidomastoid branch
  • Auricular branch
  • Mastoid branch
  • Descending branches
  • Occipital branches

Function

  1. Muscular branches supply the digastric, stylohyoid, splenius, and longus capitis muscles.
  2. Sternocleidomastoid branch splits into upper and lower sections within the carotid triangle.
  1. Auricular branch supplies the back of the ear.
  2. Meningeal branch supplies the dura mater in the posterior cranial fossa
  3. Descending branches go downwards on the posterior aspect of the neck, and splits into a superficial and deep portion
  4. Concluding part is escorted from the greater occipital nerve.
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By Dr. Joseph H Volker | 2018-08-30T09:16:40+00:00 August 8th, 2018|Anatomy, Arteries, Head and Neck|0 Comments