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External Carotid Plexus (Right)
Nervous System

External Carotid Plexus (Right)

Plexus caroticus externus

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Quick Facts

Origin: Continuation of the common carotid plexus, with its fibers originate in the superior cervical ganglion.

Course: Travels superiorly along the surface of the external carotid artery.

Branches: None.

Supply: Sympathetic efferent fibers to the glands and mucosa of the head and neck.

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The external carotid plexus is formed by the external carotid nerve, which originates in the superior cervical ganglion of the sympathetic trunk.


As the external carotid artery ascends through the neck and head, the sympathetic fibers forming the plexus follow it, traveling on the surface of the external carotid artery.


The external carotid plexus gives off unnamed arterial sympathetic fibers that travel with the branches of the external carotid artery to reach targets throughout the head.

Supplied Structures

The external carotid plexus supplies sympathetic efferent innervation to the glands and mucosal linings of the head and neck.

List of Clinical Correlates

—Horner’s syndrome




Learn more about this topic from other Elsevier products


ScienceDirect image

) The myenteric plexus consists of ganglia located between the circular and longitudinal muscle layers.

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