Basilar artery

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Basilar artery

The basilar artery is one of the arteries that supplies the brain with oxygenated blood.


The basilar artery arises from the union of the two vertebral arteries at the border between the medulla oblongata and the pons . Therefore, the entire supply area is also referred to as the vertebrobasilar river area . On average it has a length of 3 cm, a diameter of 3 mm and runs through the cisterna pontis in the rostral direction . It lies in the basilar sulcus , which is formed by the bulges of the pyramidal tracts located on both sides of it and can be found in the middle of the pons. At the anterior edge of the bridge or in the interpeduncular fossa, it divides into the two posterior cerebral arteries . This division is usually at the level of the dorsum sellae . In its course, it first supplies the arteriae inferiores anteriores cerebelli (clinical jargon: AICA) to supply the cerebellum and, shortly before its division, the arteriae superiores cerebelli . It also supplies the inner ear with the labyrinthine artery , which, however, often also arises from the inferior anterior cerebellar artery . With numerous smaller branches, which are also called rami ad pontem or arteriae pontis , it also supplies the medial part of the pons and the medulla oblongata. These in turn can be divided into medial, mediolateral and lateral branches ( Rami paramediani , Rami circumferentes breves and Rami circumferentes longi ) according to their entry points or supply areas, whereby the medial branches supply the arterial blood supply to the adjacent areas of the pons, the lateral branches that of the lateral ones Take over the pons and the pedunculus cerebellaris medius .

Anatomical varieties

With age, the elongated artery can bend and the point of division for the posterior cerebral arteries can shift rostrally. In most cases, the concave side of the bend is directed against the stronger vertebral artery . The diameter can vary between 2.7 and 4.3 mm. As an anatomical variant, the basilar artery can be formed twice in places ('buttonhole deformity') as an expression of its emergence from the two vertebral arteries.


Corresponding to their supply areas, symptoms such as dizziness and ringing in the ears due to insufficient supply of the inner ear and the core areas of the vestibulocochlear nerve in the medulla oblongata occur when there is insufficient blood flow in the basilar artery . Likewise, with ischemia in these areas and in the cerebellum, balance disorders or with circulatory disorders of the great ascending and descending pathways can lead to paralysis and impaired sensitivity. These are often limited to only one half of the body, as only individual branches of the basilar artery are usually affected. Such circulatory disorders can occur not only with vascular changes in the area of ​​the vertebrobasilar flow area, but also with subclavian steal syndrome .

In a thrombosis of the basilar artery can cause severe forms of a life-threatening brain stem infarction resulting in a tetra paresis (paralysis of all limbs), severe sensory disorders, swallowing disorders and disorders of the respiratory come. The most severe form of brainstem infarction, locked-in syndrome , is accompanied by absolute immobility of the trunk, extremities and head. Only vertical eye movements are arbitrary. In contrast to the vegetative state, consciousness is largely preserved.

See also

Web links

Commons : Basilar Artery  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. FCAT - Federative Committee on Anatomical Terminology: Terminologia Anatomica. Thieme, Stuttgart et al. 1998, ISBN 3-13-114361-4 .
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  5. ^ A b Gian Töndury, Stefan Kubik, Brigitte Krisch: Meninges and brain vessels . In: Helmut Leonhardt et al. (Ed.): Rauber / Kopsch . Human anatomy, textbook and atlas . Volume 3: Nervous System, Sense Organs. Thieme, Stuttgart et al. 1987, ISBN 3-13-503501-8 , p. 206.
  6. a b Martin Trepel : Neuroanatomy. Structure and function. 3rd, revised edition. Urban and Fischer, Munich et al. 2003, ISBN 3-437-41297-3 , p. 261 f.
  7. Ingo Bechmann , Robert Nitsch: Central nervous system, systema nervosum centrale, brain, encephalon, and spinal cord, medulla spinalis . In: Anton Waldeyer : Human anatomy. Edited by Jochen Fanghänel , Franz Pera, Friedrich Anderhuber, Robert Nitsch. 17th, completely revised edition. de Gruyter, Berlin et al. 2003, ISBN 3-11-016561-9 , p. 446.