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

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

Posterior Cerebral Artery

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

Peer Review Status: Internally Peer Reviewed

Occasionally, the proximal part of one of the posterior cerebral arteries is greatly reduced in size. The blood reaches the terminal region of the vessel from the internal carotid via the posterior communicating artery.

The posterior cerebral may course below, rather than over, the oculomotor nerve (cranial nerve 3).

It may be absent and replaced by an accessory contralateral vessel.

The posterior cerebral may provide the anterior cerebral artery.

The posterior cerebral artery may arise on one side, from the internal carotid, by an enlargement of the posterior communicating branch

The posterior communicating artery may be absent, or the branch representing it may fail to join the posterior cerebral. This was found on the right side only in 4.5%, on the left side only in 6.5%, and on both sides in 1.5%.

Image 75, Image 297


Bartosiak, P., Boroski, S. and B. Golab. (1983) Variations of the origin, the course and branching of the posterior cerebral arteries. Folia Morphol., Warsaw 42:165-173.

Beaumanoir (de Brest), -. (1882) Présentation de pièces anatomiques: Anomalies des artères de la base de l'encéphale. Bull. de la Soc. Anatomique de Paris 57:317.

Beevor, C.E. (1908) Cerebral blood supply. Brain 30:403-425.

Bergman, R.A., Thompson, S.A., Afifi, A.K. and F.A. Saadeh. (1988) Compendium of Human Anatomic Variation: Catalog, Atlas and World Literature. Urban & Schwarzenberg, Baltimore and Munich.

Gabrielle, H., Latarjet, M., Lecuire, J. and L. Eicholz. (1949) Contribution a l'étude de l'anatomie macroscopique de l'artère cérébrale postérieure et de la vascularisation artérielle du lobe occipital chez l'homme. Assoc. Anatomistes, Comptes Rendus. 36:326-338.

Gordon-Shaw, C. (1910) Two cases of reduplication of the arteria cerebri posterior. J. Anat. Physiol. 44:244-248.

Hochstetter, F. (1937) über einige Fälle einer bisher anscheinend noch nicht beobacheten Varietät der A. cerebralis posterior des Menschen. Z. Anat. Entwicklungsgesch. 107:633-646.

Kaplan, H.A. and D.H. Ford. (1966) The Brain Vascular System. Elsevier, Amsterdam.

Latarjet, A. (1948) Testut's Traite d'Anatomie Humaine, 9th ed., G. Doin & Cie., Paris.

Schaefer, E.A., Symington, J. and T.H. Bryce., Eds. (1915) Quain's Anatomy, 11th ed., Longmans, Green and Co., London.

Waddington, M.M. (1974) Atlas of Cerebral Angiography with Anatomic Correlation. Little, Brown and Co., Boston.

Williams, D.J. (1936) The origin of the posterior cerebral artery. Brain 59:175-180.

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