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Carotid Sheath
Connective Tissue

Carotid Sheath

Vagina carotidis

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The carotid sheath is a condensation of the deep cervical fascia that encapsulates the common and internal carotid arteries, the internal jugular vein, and the vagus nerve.

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Anatomical Relations

The carotid sheath commences at the base of the sphenoid bone, as the neurovasculature emerge from the cranium, and runs inferiorly to the junction of the internal jugular and brachiocephalic veins. In the neck, the sternocleidomastoid muscle runs laterally and anteriorly, the pretracheal fascia is surrounding the thyroid gland medially, and the prevertebral fascia is located posteriorly.


The carotid sheath protects the important neurovasculature running within the neck.

List of Clinical Correlates

—Disseminated dental infection

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Carotid Sheath

ScienceDirect image

The carotid sheath (CS) is a fibrous tunnel in the cervical deep fascia that serves to transport the internal carotid artery, internal carotid artery and the lower cranial nerves (CNs IX, X, XI and XII) as they exit the skull base and enter the neck and then the mediastinum.

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