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Other Terms: Lingual branch of external carotid artery, Arteria lingualis, Artère linguale
The lingual artery is the second branch of the external carotid artery. It arises opposite the greater cornu of the hyoid bone between the superior thyroid and facial arteries. It can occasionally arise as a common trunk with the latter. It consists of three portions: the oblique, the horizontal, and the ascending. The oblique portion lies between the lingual artery’s origin and the outer border of the hyoglossus muscle. It is in the superior carotid triangle and runs upward and inward to the upper border of the greater cornu of the hyoid bone. It rests upon the middle constrictor muscle of the pharynx and the internal laryngeal branch of the superior laryngeal nerve. Then it passes beneath the hyoglossus, the posterior belly of the digastric, and the stylohyoid muscle. It emerges from the superior carotid triangle and enters the submaxillary triangle. It is then crossed by the hypoglossal nerve and lingual vein and gives off the suprahyoid branch. The horizontal portion lies beneath the hyoglossus muscle and is parallel with the greater cornu of the hyoid bone. The ascending portion lies between the hyoglossus and the geniohyoglossus muscle. It runs beneath the anterior border of the hyoglossus on the outer aspect of the geniohyolgossus muscle and runs forward to the tip of the tongue, terminating as the ranine artery. The terminal portion of the lingual artery is separated from the cavity of the mouth by the mucous membrane which lines it. The lingual artery supplies the tongue, sublingual gland, tonsil, and the epiglottis. Its branches include the suprahyoid, sublingual, dorsal lingual, and the ranine or deep lingual.