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Anatomy Atlases: Illustrated Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation: Opus II: Cardiovascular System: Arterial Vessels at Base of Brain; Circle of Willis.

Illustrated Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation: Opus II: Cardiovascular System

Arterial Vessels at Base of Brain; Circle of Willis.

Ronald A. Bergman, PhD
Adel K. Afifi, MD, MS
Ryosuke Miyauchi, MD

Peer Review Status: Internally Peer Reviewed


Image of arterial vessels at base of brain

Based on the study of 600 brains.

A.: Usual cerebral arterial circle and associated vessels. Illustration labels: A Com, anterior communicating; A Ce, Anterior cerebral; M Ce, Middle Cerebral; P Ce, Posterior Cerebral; IC, Internal carotid stump; P Com, Posterior communicating; SC, Superior cerebellar; Ba, Basilar; La, Labyrinthine; AIC, Anterior inferior cerebellar; PIC, Posterior inferior cerebellar; V, Vertebral; AS, anterior spinal; P, Pontine.

B.,C.: Failure of vertebral artery to unite with the basilar artery (extremely rare variation).

D.: Inferior union of vertebral arteries to form basilar artery.

E.: Double basilar artery with absence of anterior communicating artery (first description of this variation).

F.: Failure of left posterior communicating artery to unite with rostral end of basilar artery.

G.: A specimen showing underdeveloped anterior cerebral, anterior communicating, and left posterior communicating arteries.

H.: Absence of left posterior communicating artery.

I.: Both anterior cerebral arteries are related only to the left internal carotid artery.;

J.: Specimen from a microcephalic idiot showing attenuation of internal carotid arteries and their branches, and a large saccular basilar artery.

K.: Absence of both posterior communicating arteries.

L.: A plexiform basilar artery (first description of this variation).

M. Specimen showing difference in size of internal carotid, posterior communicating, middle and anterior cerebral arteries, with right side underdeveloped.

N.: A composite drawing showing several variations found in different specimens: (a) anterior inferior cerebellar and internal auditory arteries arise as branches from a common origin; (b) posterior cerebral and superior cerebellar arteries arise from a common origin; and (c) all pontine branches on one side arise from common origin.

redrawn from McCullough (rewritten posthumously for the author by Howard K. Suzuki), 1962

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