Superior thyroid artery

The superior thyroid artery is situated within the neck. Branching from the external carotid artery, this blood vessel runs past the greater cornu of the hyoid bone and ends at the thyroid gland. In function, it delivers oxygenated blood to the thyroid and the surrounding areas. The superior thyroid artery features several offshoots. The hyoid artery serves the area protected by the hyoid bone, while the sternocliedomastoid serves a muscle of a similar name. The two other branches include the superior laryngeal and the cricothyroid arteries. The superior laryngeal supplies the larynx, while the chricthyroid transverses the cricothyroid membrane and connects to the artery on the other side. The neck also features the superior thyroid vein, which should not be confused with the superior thyroid artery. This vein drains deoxygenated away from the thyroid and surrounding areas. The body's system of veins transports deoxygenated blood back to the lungs, while the arterial system provides blood to all the organs and extremities.
Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
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In Depth: Superior thyroid artery

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