Superficial Temporal Artery

Superficial Temporal Artery

The structure indicated is the superficial temporal artery.

The superficial temporal artery is a branch of the external carotid artery. The external carotid artery gives rise to 8 branches:

  • Superior thyroid artery
  • Ascending pharyngeal artery
  • Lingual artery
  • Facial artery
  • Occipital artery
  • Posterior auricular artery
  • Maxillary artery
  • Superficial temporal artery

The maxillary artery and the superficial temporal artery are terminal branches of the external carotid artery, with the latter being the smaller of the two branches.

The superficial temporal artery is often biopsied when giant-cell arteritis is suspected. The artery can be easily palpated just anterior to the tragus – feel it yourself!

Learn more about the branches of the external carotid artery in this anatomy tutorial.