Carotid Space:

This is another major highway through which tumors can race vertically up and down from the skull base down to the aortic arch., This space includes the extracranial carotid artery, the jugular vein, portions of cranial nerves 9 through 11, the internal jugular chain of nodes. Metastatic lesions from squamous cell cancer can frequently be found in this space. Popular sites of origin for squamous cell cancer to invade the carotid space include the larynx, the tongue base, the tonsilar fossa, and the nasal pharynx. Other lesions that can be found in the carotid space would include neurofibromas, Schwannomas, paragangliomas, and lymphomas. Infections which may be harbored, particularly in the internal jugular nodes, can also be detected in the carotid space. Involvement of the carotid space may be an indicator for nonresectability, particularly if the carotid artery is encased.

Carotid Space

* Includes carotid artery, internal jugular vein, cranial nerves 9-11, internal. jugular chain of nodes.

* Extends from skull base down to aortic arch. Major verticle highway.

* Common tumors:

Metastatic squamous cell cancer
Lymphoma
Schwannomas/Neurofibromas
Paraganglioma

* Encasement of the carotid artery may mean inoperability.



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