Microsurgical anatomy of the distal anterior cerebral artery

J Neurosurg. 1978 Aug;49(2):204-28. doi: 10.3171/jns.1978.49.2.0204.


The microsurgical anatomy of the distal anterior cerebral artery (ACA) has been defined in 50 cerebral hemispheres. The distal ACA, the portion beginning at the anterior communicating artery (ACoA), was divided into four segments (A2 through A5) according to Fischer. The distal ACA gave origin to central and cerebral branches. The central branches passed to the optic chiasm, suprachiasmatic area, and anterior forebrain below the corpus callosum. The cerebral branches were divided into cortical, subcortical, and callosal branches. The most frequent site of origin of the cortical branches was as follows: orbitofrontal and frontopolar arteries, A2; the anterior and middle internal frontal and callosomarginal arteries, A3; the paracentral artery, A4; and the superior and inferior parietal arteries, A5. The posterior internal frontal artery arose with approximately equal frequency from A3 and A4 and callosomarginal artery. All the cortical branches arose more frequently from the pericallosal than the callosomarginal artery. Of the major cortical branches, the internal frontal and paracentral arteries arose most frequently from the callosomarginal artery. The distal ACA of one hemisphere sent branches to the contralateral hemisphere in 64% of brains. The anterior portions of the hemisphere between the 5-cm and 15-cm points on the circumferential line showed the most promise of revealing a recipient artery of sufficient size for an extracranial-intracranial artery anastomosis. The distal ACA was the principal artery supplying the corpus callosum. The recurrent artery, which arose from the A2 segment in 78% of hemispheres, sent branches into the subcortical area around the anterior limb of the internal capsule.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Cerebral Arteries / abnormalities
  • Cerebral Arteries / anatomy & histology*
  • Cerebral Arteries / surgery
  • Cerebral Cortex / blood supply
  • Corpus Callosum
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / surgery
  • Intracranial Embolism and Thrombosis / physiopathology
  • Microsurgery