Anatomical examination of the recurrent artery of Heubner

Clin Anat. 2006 Jan;19(1):25-31. doi: 10.1002/ca.20229.


There is considerable inconsistency in the description of the origins, dimensions, and course of the recurrent artery of Heubner (RAH). The RAH frequently supplies parts of the basal ganglia and the anterior limb of the internal capsule and can be damaged with improper clip placement during repair of aneurysms near the anterior communicating artery. Thus, further elaboration of the anatomical descriptions of the RAH is necessary. The gross anatomy of the RAH was studied in 69 human brain hemispheres. RAH was found as a single vessel in 53 hemispheres (77%), as double arteries in 12 hemispheres (17%), and was absent in 4 hemispheres (6%). The origin of the RAH was from the junction of the anterior cerebral artery and anterior communicating artery in 48 (62.3%) hemispheres, from the proximal A2 segment of the anterior cerebral artery in 18 (23.3%) hemispheres and from the A1 segment in 11 (14.3%) hemispheres. The diameters of the artery ranged from 0.2 to 1.3 mm with a mean of 0.8 mm, while the length ranged from 0.9 to 3.8 cm with a mean of 2.4 cm. The above data may provide important information to neurosurgeons operating in this area, as well as to neuroanatomists teaching the vascular supply of the brain.

MeSH terms

  • Anterior Cerebral Artery / anatomy & histology*
  • Arteries / anatomy & histology
  • Basal Ganglia / blood supply*
  • Cadaver
  • Circle of Willis / anatomy & histology
  • Humans
  • Internal Capsule / blood supply*
  • Middle Cerebral Artery / anatomy & histology
  • Neurosurgical Procedures / education
  • Neurosurgical Procedures / methods