The internal carotid artery is a major paired artery, one on each side of the head and neck, in human anatomy. They arise from the common carotid artery where these bifurcate into the internal and external carotid artery; the internal carotid artery supplies the brain, while the external carotid nourishes other portions of the head, such as face, scalp, skull, and meninges.
The internal carotid arteries supply blood to the anterior three-fifths of cerebrum, except for parts of the temporal and occipital lobes.
Any decrease in the flow of blood through one of the internal carotid arteries brings about some impairment in the function of the frontal lobes. This impairment may result in numbness, weakness, or paralysis on the side of the body opposite to the obstruction of the artery.
The following are the branches of the internal carotid artery, listed by segment:
C1: Branches from the cervical portion - none.
C2: Branches from the petrous portion
Caroticotympanic artery or arteries
Artery of pterygoid canal (vidian artery)
C3: Branches from the lacerum portion - none
C7: Branches from the communicating portion
Posterior communicating artery
Anterior choroidal artery
Anterior cerebral artery (a terminal branch)
Middle cerebral artery (a terminal branch)