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carotid sinus[kə′räd·əd ′sī·nəs]
(bulbus caroticus, sinus caroticus, the dilated area of the common carotid artery before bifurcation into its external and internal branches.
The carotid sinus is an important reflexogenic zone that plays a part in maintaining the constancy of arterial pressure, heart action, and blood gases content; it is the site of baroreceptors, which react to changes in blood pressure, and chemoreceptors, which react to changes in the chemical composition of the blood and in oxygen tension. The carotid sinus is innervated by the sensory branch of the glossopharyngeal nerve (sinus nerve, Hering’s nerve). Excitation of the nerve endings in the carotid sinus is the first link in the chain of the carotid reflexes.
I. N. D’IAKONOVA