Carotid body

Dr Owen Kang and Dr Jeremy Jones et al.

The carotid body is located within the neck, and in close proximity to the carotid bifurcation. It is composed of a number of chemoreceptor cells and supporting matrix and detects changes in the composition of blood in the common carotid as it forms the internal and external carotid arteries.

It predominantly detects the partial pressure of oxygen, but is also sensitive to the partial pressure of CO2 and pH and temperature. The feedback from the carotid body is sent to the cardiorespiratory centers in the medulla oblongata via the afferent branches of the glossopharyngeal nerve. The cell bodies of this nerve are located in the petrosal ganglion. The afferent fibers of the aortic body chemoreceptors are relayed by the vagus nerve. These centers, in turn, regulate breathing and blood pressure.

Related pathology
Anatomy: Head and neck
Share article

Article information

rID: 5892
System: Head & Neck
Section: Anatomy
Tag: refs, cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:

Support Radiopaedia and see fewer ads

Cases and figures

  • Arteries of the neck - Gray's anatomy illustration
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Updating… Please wait.

     Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

     Thank you for updating your details.