Illustrated Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation: Opus II: Cardiovascular System: Arteries: Head, Neck, and Thorax
Ronald A. Bergman, PhD
Adel K. Afifi, MD, MS
Ryosuke Miyauchi, MD
Peer Review Status: Internally Peer Reviewed
In one study of 1647 brains, the anterior communicating artery was so small in 6% of cases that it restricted circulation (from one side to the other) between two anterior cerebrals.
The anterior communicating artery, contrary to many textbook descriptions, may not be oriented in a strictly transverse plane. It can be oriented in an oblique or anterior-posterior plane if one anterior cerebral artery passes between the hemispheres behind the other, as occurs in 80% of brains.
The anterior communcating artery is usually between 2 and 3 mm in length, but may vary from 0.3 to 7 mm.
It may be curved, kinked, or tortuous rather than straight.
One anterior communicating artery is found in 60% of brains; the other 40% of brains may have two or three arteries
The artery is rarely absent.
When doubled or tripled, the different arteries may be similar in diameter or may vary markedly. Commonly one is large and the other(s) small.
In one review (work of seven investigators) of variations in 1813 anterior communicating arteries, it was absent in four cases (0.22%); there were small areas of fusion in 17 cases (0.94%), an azygos anterior cerebral in 21 (1.16%), a double V or Y form in 225 (12.4%), and a treble or plexiform vessel in 56 (3.09%). The artery was single in 1473 cases (about 81%).
Image 83, Image 296, Image 415
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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 Munich.
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