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Thyroid Gland Blood Supply 1

Thyroid gland blood supply
anatomy

Question

Vignette:

A 35-year-old woman is undergoing a routine physical examination. The physician notes a swelling on the right side of her neck. During palpation, the swelling moves upward as the patient swallows. The physician suspects an enlarged thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is supplied by which of the following arteries?

Choices

A. Superior thyroid artery

B. Inferior thyroid artery

C. Thyrocervical trunk

D. External carotid artery

E. Internal carotid artery

Answer

A. Superior thyroid artery

Explanation

The superior thyroid artery, a branch of the external carotid artery, is the primary source of blood supply to the thyroid gland. It courses downward to reach the upper pole of the thyroid gland. The inferior thyroid artery, a branch of the thyrocervical trunk (part of the subclavian artery), also supplies the thyroid gland but reaches the lower pole of the gland. Therefore, the superior thyroid artery is the main source of blood supply to the gland. The external and internal carotid arteries do not directly supply the thyroid gland.

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