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Posterior auricular artery

The posterior auricular artery (Latin: arteria auricularis posterior) is a small branch of the external carotid artery. The posterior auricular artery with its branches supplies neck muscles including the digastric, stylohyoid and sternocleidomastoid muscles, the parotid gland, tympanic cavity, facial nerve (CN VII), and mastoid antrum cells.

The posterior auricular artery arises above the digastric and stylohyoid muscles. It passes upwards between the parotid gland and the styloid process to reach the back of the auricular cartilage. Here it divides into auricular and occipital branches. On its course, the posterior auricular artery gives off the stylomastoid artery. This artery enters the stylomastoid foramen and supplies the facial nerve, tympanic cavity, and mastoid antrum cells.