The lenticulostriate arteries (LSA) and their microanatomy, region of supply and atherosclerosis were examined in 24 microdissected brains, arterial casts, and histological specimens. The LSA ranged from 2 to 12 in number and from 0.10 mm to 1.28 mm in diameter. They always arose from the initial segment of the middle cerebral artery (MCA), often from the MCA leptomeningeal branches (38.24%), and rarely from the insular segment (2.94%). They always originated as individual branches, often (61.76%) with their own common stems. In two hemispheres we found that the LSA supplied either a larger or a smaller portion of the basal ganglia and internal capsule than usual. The number of twigs to the innominate substance (substantia innominata) (3-11), and their diameters (0.07-0.30 mm), has been described for the first time, to our knowledge. Microatheromas were found in two LSA. Data about the LSA microanatomy and territory could form the basis of safer neurosurgery, more accurate neuroimaging evaluation, and precise neurological diagnosis in patients with focal ischemic lesions in the basal ganglia and internal capsule.
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