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Clinical Problem Solving: Radiology
April 19, 2010

Radiology Quiz Case 2: Diagnosis

Author Affiliations


Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2010;136(4):414. doi:10.1001/archoto.2010.36-b

The normal anatomical path of the cervical ICA is posterolateral to the lateral pharyngeal wall. In its normal anatomical position, the ICA courses vertically parallel and posterior or posterolateral to the tonsillar fossa.1The tonsillar fossa is bounded by the palatoglossal fold anteriorly, the palatopharyngeal fold posteriorly, and the superior pharyngeal constrictor muscle laterally. Below the superior pharyngeal constrictor muscle, there is the parapharyngeal space containing the ICA and the jugular vein.2Lying at the C2 level in the retrostyloid parapharyngeal space, ICA's position acts to protect it from iatrogenic injury during tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy.2

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