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

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

Circle of Willis

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

Peer Review Status: Internally Peer Reviewed


This circle of anastomosing arterial vessels is extremely variable.

Stehbens regards a normal circle of Willis to be one in which there is a complete anastomotic polygon, which may show considerable variability not only of its components but also its branches. The so-called normal or textbook description holds true in about 34.5% of cases based on a composit review of 1413 brains. Not even Willis's original illustration conforms to the usual textbook description.

See illustrations for Circle variations.

Image 74A, Image 74B, Image 74C, Image 74D, Image 74E, Image 74F, Image 74G, Image 74H, Image 82, Image 116, Image 143, Image 144, Image 227, Image 291, Image 292, Image 293, Image 294A, Image 294B, Image 294C, Image 294D, Image 294E, Image 512


References

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Blackburn, J.W. (1907) Anomalies of encephalic arteries among the insane. A study of the arteries at the base of the encephalon in two hundred and twenty consecutive cases of mental disease, with special reference to anomalies of the circle of Willis. J. Comp. Neurol. 17:493-509.

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Chrzanowska, G. and J. Mierzwa. (1979) Variation of the cerebral arterial circle (of Willis) in man. Folia Morphol., Warsaw 38 (3):365-373.

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Hasenjäger, T. (1937) Ein Beitrag zu den Abnormitäten des Circulus Wilisii. Zbl. Neurochir. 2:34- 38.

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Kmentowa-Sklenska, A. and Z. Hejlowa. (1958) Struktura mpzgovych tepen u dospivajiciho a dospeleho cloveka. Ceskoslov. Morph. 6:358-367.

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LeGuyader, A., Cayotte, J.L., Laffont, J., Renard, M., Delteil, C., Picard, L., Brice, M. and J.P. Masson. (1968) Variations morphologiques du polygone de Willis à propos de 170 observations anatomiques. Étud. Anat. Fac. Med., Nancy 2:45-55.

Longo, L. (1905) Le anomalie del poligono di Willis nell'uomo studiate comparativamente in alcuni mammiferi ed ucelli. Anat. Anz. 27:170-176.

Lowrey, L.G. (1916) Anomaly in the circle of Willis, due to absence of the right internal carotid artery. Anat. Rec. 10:221-222.

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Miller-Fisher, C. (1965) The circle of Willis. Anatomical variations. Vasc. Dis. 2:99-105.

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Puchades-Orts, A., Nombela-Gomez, M. and G. Ortuno-Pacheco. (1976) Variations in form of circle of Willis: some anatomical and embryological considerations. Anat. Rec. 185(l):119-123.

Riggs, H. and C.Rupp. (1963) Variations in form of the circle of Willis. The relation of the variations to collateral circulation, anatomic analysis. Arch. Neurol. 8:24-30.

Slany, A. (1938) Anomalien des Circulus arteriosus Willisi in ihrer Beziehung zur Aneurysmenbildung an der Hirnbasis. Arch. Pathol. Anat. Physiol. Klin. Med. 301:62-71.

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Windle, B.C.A. (1888) On the circle of Willis. New York Medical Journal 2:XXX-XXX.

Windle, B.C.A. (1888) The arteries forming the circle of Willis. J. Anat. Physiol. 22:289-293.

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