The transverse cervical artery is one of three blood vessels that extend from the thyrocervical trunk, a larger artery located within the neck. It is also known as the transversa colli artery.
This artery is located above the suprascapular artery, another blood vessel that forms the thyrocervical trunk. It laterally (horizontally) crosses the omohyoid muscle, which runs from the shoulder to the upper neck, and ends at the part of the trapezius muscle found in the neck and near the scapula (shoulder blade).
Below the trapezius muscle, the transverse cervical artery divides into two separate blood vessels referred to as the superficial cervical artery and the dorsal scapular artery. Together, these arteries supply blood to the neck and scapula.
Cancer of the head and neck may require reconstruction of these areas through the mouth. The transverse cervical artery is often used to supply and receive blood flow to and from reconstructed portions of the mouth if the appropriate blood vessels cannot be salvaged. Repairing intraoral defects, or malformations within the mouth, may also require surgery and extension of the transverse cervical artery for blood supply.