Posterior communicating artery

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Circulus arteriosus cerebri

The posterior communicating artery ( ACoP ) is a paired artery at the base of the brain . It is a vascular branch from the left or right internal carotid artery that connects it with the posterior cerebral artery , an artery originating from the basilar artery . The two posterior communicating arteries are part of the Circulus arteriosus cerebri ( Willisii ; named after its discoverer, Thomas Willis ), an important anastomotic system through which both sides of the carotid flow area - via the anterior communicating artery between the anterior cerebral artery on each side - and the posterior or vertebrobasilar flow area are connected to each other and to each other in a ring. The blood supply to the brain can often be ensured via this vascular circuit, even in the case of unfavorable inflow conditions or vascular constrictions in the upstream pathways. The posterior communicating artery gives off branches to the optic chiasm , optic tract , tuber cinereum , corpus mamillare , subthalamus , posterior hypothalamus, and anterior and ventral thalamus .

Variants in humans

In 10 percent of cases, the posterior communicating artery is only weakly developed on one or both sides ( hypoplasia ). The posterior cerebral artery arises unilaterally in 10% of cases or bilaterally in 5 percent of cases not from the posterior communicating artery, but directly from the internal carotid artery (so-called embryonic supply type ).

Medical importance

The posterior communicating artery is a common site of aneurysms of the cerebral vessels. Due to its proximity to the oculomotor nerve , a "communicating artery posterior aneurysm" can be noticeable through an oculomotor palsy, among other things .

Individual evidence

  1. Alexander Hartmann, Wolf-Dieter Heiss (ed.): The stroke. Pathogenesis, clinical features, diagnosis and therapy of acute cerebrovascular diseases. Steinkopff, Darmstadt 2001, ISBN 3-7985-1211-6 , p. 6.
  2. Michael Schünke , Erik Schulte , Udo Schumacher : Prometheus. Anatomy Learning Atlas. Head, Neck and Neuroanatomy. 2nd, revised and expanded edition. Georg Thieme, Stuttgart 2009, ISBN 978-3-13-139542-9 , p. 319.
  3. Peter Berlit (Ed.): Therapielexikon Neurologie. With 110 tables. Springer, Berlin et al. 2005, ISBN 3-540-67137-4 , p. 877.