A 77-year-old male patient presented with dysphonia. Endoscopic examination demonstrated a distortion of the posterior pharyngeal wall, which was pulsatile. The axial CT showed left internal carotid artery in a retropharyngeal location. An anomalous course of the carotid artery in the retropharyngeal space is an unusual finding that poses a risk of vascular injury during pharyngeal surgery and intubation. Such an anomaly may be congenital (incomplete descent of the third aortic arch) and may be more pronounced in older patients secondary to atherosclerosis and hypertension as occurred in our case noted here.
- carotid artery
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