Luschka and the carotid body

Eliasz Engelhardt


The ‘carotid body’ is a small structure sited at the bifurcation of the common carotid artery. The macroscopic features of the carotid body, and items of the extrinsic nervous, and vascular supplies, were initially described by Taube (1743), complemented by a number of authors that followed, proceeding until Luschka (1962), who added the first microscopic study. The macroscopic features of the carotid body, including location, extrinsic innervation, and vascular supply, then provided, were described in a relatively satisfactory manner. However, despite Luschka’s great and admirable effort, the microscopic findings seem to be flawed, what can be ascribed to the technical limitations at the time, and the artifacts due to the used procedures. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that Luschka and his forerunners provided an important step for forthcoming research on the carotid body, and its innervation.



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