[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
December 1995

Distance Between the Tonsillar Fossa and Internal Carotid Artery in Children

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatric Otolaryngology, Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio (Drs Deutsch and Willging), and Diagnostic Radiology, Chandler Medical Center, Lexington, Ky (Dr Kriss).

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1995;121(12):1410-1412. doi:10.1001/archotol.1995.01890120066013

Objective:  Obtain normative data on the distance from the tonsillar fossa to the internal carotid artery in children, and relate this distance to age and weight parameters.

Design:  A prospective study of 100 children undergoing magnetic resonance imaging studies for pathology unrelated to the upper aerodigestive tract. The torus tubarius corresponds to the lateral extent of the tonsillar fossa and was used as the reference site for measurements. One hundred children (aged 7 days to 18 years; median, 6 years) were consecutively entered into the study. Exclusion criteria included any preexisting abnormalities of the upper aerodigestive tract. The study defined the distance from the tonsillar fossa to the internal carotid artery. Relationships of this distance were defined for both age and weight parameters.

Results:  With increasing age and weight, the distance between the tonsillar fossa and the internal carotid artery increases in a regular fashion to a value approaching 25 mm. Both relationships are exponential with asymptotes being achieved by 56 kg (correlation coefficient, 0.8616; R2 value, 0.7423) or 12 years of age (correlation coefficient, 0.8452; R2 value, 0.7143).

Conclusion:  Age and weight parameters can be used to predict the distance from the tonsillar fossa to the internal carotid artery in children.(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1995;121:1410-1412)

Paradise JL.  Tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy . In: Bluestone CD, Stool SE, eds.  Pediatric Otolaryngology . 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: WB Saunders Co; 1990: 915-926.
Capper JWR, Randall C.  Post-operative hemorrhage in tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy in children .  J Laryngol Otol . 1984;98:363-365.Crossref
Handler SD, Miller L, Richmond KH, Baranak CC.  Post-tonsillectomy hemorrhage: incidence, prevention, and management .  Laryngoscope . 1986;96:1243-1247.
Rasmussen N.  Complications of tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy .  Otol Clin North Am . 1987;20:383-390.
Gardner JF.  Sutures and disasters in tonsillectomy .  Arch Otolaryngol . 1968; 88:551-555.Crossref
Osguthorpe JD, Adkins WY, Putney FJ, Hungerford GD.  Internal carotid artery as source of tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy hemorrhage .  Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg . 1981;89:758-762.
Cairney J.  Tortuosity of the cervical segment of the internal carotid artery .  J Anat . 1924;59:87-96.
Hellman JR, Shott SR, Gootee MJ.  Impalement injuries of the palate in children: review of 131 cases .  Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol . 1993;26:157-163.Crossref
Mains B, Nagle M.  Thrombosis of the internal carotid artery due to soft palate injury .  J Laryngol Otol . 1989;103:796-797.Crossref
Braudo M.  Thrombosis of the internal carotid artery in childhood after injuries in the region of the soft palate .  BMJ . 1956;1:665-667.Crossref
Helmut D, Poeschl W.  Impalement injuries of the palate .  Plast Reconstr Surg . 1983;72:656-658.
Hengerer AS, DeGroot TR, Rivers RJ, Pettee DS.  Internal carotid artery thrombosis following soft palate injuries .  Laryngoscope . 1984;94:1571-1574.Crossref
Weinberg E, Brodsky L, Stanievich J, Volk M.  Needle aspiration of peritonsillar abscess in children .  Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg . 1993;119:169-172.Crossref
Haeggstrom A, Gustafsson O, Engquist S, Engstrom CF.  Intraoral ultrasonography in the diagnosis of peritonsillar abscess .  Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg . 1993;108:243-247.
Hendrix RA, Bacon CK, Hoffer ME.  Localization of the carotid artery within the tonsillar fossa by doppler flow mapping .  Laryngoscope . 1990;100:853-856.Crossref
Tovi F, Leiberman A, Hertzanu Y, Goleman L.  Pseudoaneurysm of the internal carotid artery secondary to tonsillectomy .  Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol . 1987; 13:69-75.Crossref
Radkowski D, McGill TJ, Healy GB, Jones DT.  Penetrating trauma of the oropharynx in children .  Laryngoscope . 1993;103:991-994.Crossref