The authors examined the lenticulostriate (perforating) arteries in the vascular casts of 48 middle cerebral arteries (MCA), as well as in the MRI or CT scans of 32 patients with cerebral infarcts in the MCA territory. The lenticulostriate arteries ranged between two and 12 in number, and from 80 microm to 1,400 microm in size. They originated from the main trunk, terminal trunks, bifurcation site, and/or leptomeningeal branches of the MCA, either separately or from common trunks (70.8%). The extreme variations of the supplying region of the perforators were noted in seven anatomic specimens. In addition to the basal ganglia, the genu, and the anterior limb of the internal capsule, the lenticulostriate arteries seemed to supply only the rostral portion of the superior part of the posterior limb of the capsule. The patients presented with occlusion of all the lenticulostriate arteries, individual arteries, or only their twigs. Complete occlusion of these arteries resulted in a huge central hemispheric infarct. Occlusion of an individual artery most often caused a large ganglionic-capsular infarct. The authors concluded that the lacunar infarcts usually follow occlusion of a terminal or a side branch of the lenticulostriate arteries.
Copyright 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.