Arterial anastomosis in the tongue

O'Neill, J. , Shaw-Dunn, J., Robertson, S. and Rea, P. (2016) Arterial anastomosis in the tongue. Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, 74(5), pp. 1084-1090. (doi: 10.1016/j.joms.2015.12.011) (PMID:26836294)

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Purpose: Radical surgery for neoplasm of the tongue can endanger one or both lingual arteries, threatening the survival of the remaining tissue and the recovery of speech and swallowing. Our hypothesis is that although there is little anastomosis in the substance of the tongue, arterial anastomoses outside it could provide a collateral circulation to protect the surviving tissue. Methods: Parts of nine embalmed cadaver heads were examined. In two specimens, the arteries had been previously injected with latex and India ink. In the remaining seven, a mixture of latex and India ink was injected into the lingual artery at its origin on one side. Five injections were successful. Results: There is considerable variation in the course and distribution of the lingual arteries. Arteries do not cross the midline of the tongue, but actual or potential anastomoses could be seen round the base of the tongue, in the floor of the mouth, and with facial artery branches. After the experimental injections, the mass filled the lingual artery and its branches on the injected side, but also reached the trunk and main branches of the opposite side. Conclusion: A mass injected into the lingual artery of one side can reach the trunk and territory of the lingual artery of the opposite side. In life it is likely that a similar collateral circulation would exist. Some clinical literature supports this conclusion, but preoperative arteriography might be a reasonable precaution.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:O'Neill, Ms Jennifer and Shaw-Dunn, Dr John and Rea, Professor Paul
Authors: O'Neill, J., Shaw-Dunn, J., Robertson, S., and Rea, P.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Life Sciences
Journal Name:Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
ISSN (Online):1531-5053
Published Online:07 January 2016

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