Carotid artery: A key artery located in the front of the neck though which blood from the heart goes to the brain. arteria carotis)
There are 2 carotid arteries – the right and left common carotid arteries – on each side of the neck. Together, the right and left common carotid arteries provide the principal blood supply to the head and neck.
The left common carotid arises directly from the aorta (the huge artery that comes from the heart). The right common carotid artery arises from the brachiocephalic artery which, in turn, comes off the aorta.
Each of the two common carotid arteries divides to form external and internal carotid arteries. The external carotids are more superficial (closer to the surface) than the internal carotids (which run deep within the neck).
Cholesterol plaques on the inner wall of the carotid artery can lead to strokes.
Common carotid, common carotid artery - runs upward in the neck and divides into the external and internal carotid arteries
External carotid, external carotid artery - the branch of the carotid artery that supplies blood to the face and tongue and external parts of the head
Internal carotid artery - the branch of the carotid artery that supplies blood to the brain and eyes and internal parts of the head