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Sternocleidomastoid Branches of Occipital Artery (Left)
Cardiovascular System

Sternocleidomastoid Branches of Occipital Artery (Left)

Rami sternocleidomastoidei arteriae occipitalis

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Quick Facts

Origin: Occipital artery.

Course: Descend posteriorly to enter the sternocleidomastoid muscle.

Branches: None.

Supplied Structures: Sternocleidomastoid muscle.

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Origin

The sternocleidomastoid branches of the occipital artery are the main branches of the occipital artery.

Course

There are two sternocleidomastoid branches that arise from the occipital artery.

The lower sternocleidomastoid branch arises near the origin of the occipital artery from the posterior aspect of the external carotid artery. The lower sternocleidomastoid branch descends posteriorly, traversing the hypoglossal nerve and internal jugular vein and enters the sternocleidomastoid muscle.

The upper sternocleidomastoid branch of the occipital artery arises where the occipital artery is crossed by the accessory nerve. The upper sternocleidomastoid branch descends posteriorly, passing the internal jugular vein superficially, to enter the sternocleidomastoid muscle along with the accessory nerve.

Branches

There are no named branches. The lower sternocleidomastoid branch of the occipital artery forms an anastomosis with the sternocleidomastoid branch of superior thyroid artery.

Supplied Structures

The sternocleidomastoid branches of the occipital artery help supply the sternocleidomastoid muscle.

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