A Case Report of Kissing Carotid Arteries in the Retropharynx

Document Type : Case Report


1 Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Islamic Science University of Malaysia

2 Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Hospital Kuala Lumpur, Ministry of Health, Malaysia.

3 Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Surgical-based Department, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University Sains Islam Malaysia, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia.


An aberrant carotid artery has distinct terms and may exhibit a submucosal mass in the posterior pharyngeal wall.  While it is primarily asymptomatic, an extreme aberrancy doubles the risk of dissection, a cerebrovascular accident (CVA) and an injury intraoperatively.
Case Report:
We report a case of ‘kissing carotid artery’ in a 65-year-old lady who presented with a foreign body sensation felt in the throat for one week.  A finding of flexible nasopharyngolaryngoscopy (FNPLS) showed a bilateral paramedian retropharyngeal pulsating mass.  Radiological examinations, including Computed Tomography (CT) of the neck and an angiogram, revealed an aberrant course of bilateral carotid arteries.  In view of no malignancy and vascular malformations, there was no further intervention done, and the patient was subjected to yearly surveillance.
Retropharyngeal carotid arteries are clinically significant anatomic variants.  Such anomalies are potentially life-threatening and a risk factor for a severe hemorrhage during the simplest and commonly performed transoral surgeries. Thus, thorough perioperative assessment with accurate imaging techniques and studies are required to evaluate these anomalies and may avoid any disastrous complications.


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