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Anatomy Atlases: Illustrated Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation: Opus II: Cardiovascular System: Arteries: Head, Neck, and Thorax: Anterior Cerebral Artery

Illustrated Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation: Opus II: Cardiovascular System: Arteries: Head, Neck, and Thorax

Anterior Cerebral Artery

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

Peer Review Status: Internally Peer Reviewed

Both the right and left anterior cerebral arteries may run as one vessel to divide distally, or one may be a branch of the contralateral artery.

In some instances the anterior cerebral arteries are united into a single trunk, like the basilar artery behind, and this again divides into the right and left arteries (4%). The two arteries frequently differ in size at their origin, and the larger one reinforces the other through the anterior communicating artery: this may be developed so far that both anterior cerebral arteries arise from one internal carotid artery, by means of a common trunk which bifurcates as it enters the longitudinal fissure. The two arteries have also been seen united in a single trunk, which runs in the longitudinal fissure, giving branches to both hemispheres. In addition, a third artery, middle anterior cerebral, arising from the anterior communicating is not uncommon (4.5%).

The arteries are sometimes doubled.

A persistent olfactory artery may be a branch of the anterior cerebral; it courses through the cribriform plate to reach the nasal cavity.

In a study of 50 brains, 10% had an A-1 segment of the anterior cerebral artery (i.e., the initial segment between its point of origin from the internal carotid and the point of origin of the anterior communicating artery from the anterior cerebral) with a diameter of 1.5 mm or less. In only one of 50 brains was the diameter less than 1.0 mm. In a study of 1647 circles of Willis, the A-1 segment was hypoplastic in 7%.

Hypoplasia of the A-1 segment may be associated with aneurysms of the anterior communicating artery.

Infrequent variations are duplication of the A-1 segment, and a third or median anterior cerebral artery arising from the anterior communicating artery.

The anterior cerebrals may join to form a median common anterior cerebral.

A branch of the anterial cerebral artery, the recurrent artery of Heubner may be doubled or tripled.

Image 296


Afifi, A. (2004) Personal Observation.

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