Hansen, John T. Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, New York.
Last reviewed:November 2019
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A special sensory organ (glomus caroticum) located in the angle of the branching of the common carotid artery into the external and internal carotid arteries (see illustration). The human carotid body is an ovoid organ approximately 0.2 in. (5 mm) long, embedded in the outer connective tissue (adventitia) of the blood vessel. The carotid body is called a chemoreceptor because it is sensitive to oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood. There is evidence that suggests that the carotid body is also sensitive to changes in blood pressure, blood flow, and blood osmolarity (salt content). See also: Chemoreception
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