Henry Gray (18251861). Anatomy of the Human Body. 1918.
and supplies the dura mater, the diploë, and the mastoid cells; this latter branch sometimes arises from the occipital artery, and is then known as the mastoid branch.
The Meningeal Branch (ramus meningeus; dural branch) ascends with the internal jugular vein, and enters the skull through the jugular foramen and condyloid canal, to supply the dura mater in the posterior fossa.
The Descending Branch (ramus descendens; arteria princeps cervicis) (Fig. 513), the largest branch of the occipital, descends on the back of the neck, and divides into a superficial and deep portion. The superficial portion runs beneath the Splenius, giving off branches which pierce that muscle to supply the Trapezius and anastomose with the ascending branch of the transverse cervical: the deep portion runs down between the Semispinales capitis and colli, and anastomoses with the vertebral and with the a. profunda cervicalis, a branch of the costocervical trunk. The anastomosis between these vessels assists in establishing the collateral circulation after ligature of the common carotid or subclavian artery.
The terminal branches of the occipital artery are distributed to the back of the head: they are very tortuous, and lie between the integument and Occipitalis, anastomosing with the artery of the opposite side and with the posterior auricular and temporal arteries, and supplying the Occipitalis, the integument, and pericranium. One of the terminal branches may give off a meningeal twig which passes through the parietal foramen.
5. The posterior auricular artery (a. auricularis posterior) (Fig. 508) is small and arises from the external carotid, above the Digastricus and Stylohyoideus, opposite the apex of the styloid process. It ascends, under cover of the parotid gland, on the styloid process of the temporal bone, to the groove between the cartilage of the ear and the mastoid process, immediately above which it divides into its auricular and occipital branches.
Branches.Besides several small branches to the Digastricus, Stylohyoideus, and Sternocleidomastoideus, and to the parotid gland, this vessel gives off three branches:
The Stylomastoid Artery (a. stylomastoidea) enters the stylomastoid foramen and supplies the tympanic cavity, the tympanic antrum and mastoid cells, and the semicircular canals. In the young subject a branch from this vessel forms, with the anterior tympanic artery from the internal maxillary, a vascular circle, which surrounds the tympanic membrane, and from which delicate vessels ramify on that membrane. It anastomoses with the superficial petrosal branch of the middle meningeal artery by a twig which enters the hiatus canalis facialis.
The Auricular Branch (ramus auricularis) ascends behind the ear, beneath the Auricularis posterior, and is distributed to the back of the auricula, upon which it ramifies minutely, some branches curving around the margin of the cartilage, others perforating it, to supply the anterior surface. It anastomoses with the parietal and anterior auricular branches of the superficial temporal.
The Occipital Branch (ramus occipitalis) passes backward, over the Sternocleidomastoideus, to the scalp above and behind the ear. It supplies the Occipitalis and the scalp in this situation and anastomoses with the occipital artery.
6. The ascending pharyngeal artery (a. pharyngea ascendens) (Fig. 513), the smallest branch of the external carotid, is a long, slender vessel, deeply seated in the neck, beneath the other branches of the external carotid and under the Stylopharyngeus. It arises from the back part of the external carotid, near the commencement of that vessel, and ascends vertically between the internal carotid and the side of the pharynx, to the under surface of the base of the skull, lying on the Longus capitis.