QS Study

Carotid Sheath is a condensation of the fibroareolar tissue around the main vessels of the neck and the vagus nerve. It is a fibrous connective tissue that encircles four key structures within the neck. It is located posterior to the sternocleidomastoid muscle and is a part of the deep cervical fascia of the neck.

Contents of the carotid sheath

  • Common carotid artery
  • Internal jugular vein
  • Internal carotid artery
  • Vagus nerve.

The function of the carotid sheath is to separate and, possibly, help protect the vital structures within it.

Carotid Sheath 1

Fig: Carotid Sheath


(a) The ansa cervicalis lies embedded in the anterior wall of the carotid sheath.

(b) The cervical sympathetic chain lies behind the sheath, plastered to the prevertebral fascia.

(c) The sheath is overlapped by the anterior border of the sternomastoid and is fused to all the three layers of the deep cervical fascia.

(d) It is a portion of the cervical fascia enclosing the carotid artery, internal jugular vein, vagus nerve, and sympathetic nerves supplying the head.

(e) The fascia of the carotid sheath is formed by contributions from the paratracheal, prevertebral, and investing fascia layers.

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