The cardiovascular system of the head and neck



The cardiovascular system of the head and neck includes the vital arteries that provide oxygenated blood to the brain and organs of the head, including the mouth and eyes. It also includes the veins that return deoxygenated blood from these organs to the heart. Among these blood vessels are several unique and important structures that have evolved to help maintain the continuous flow of blood to the brain. The human brain is so powerful and metabolically active that it uses about 20% of all of the oxygen and glucose taken in by the body each day. Any interruption in the blood flow to the brain very quickly results in the decline of mental function, loss of consciousness, and eventually death if not corrected.