The neurovascular relationships and the blood supply of the abducent nerve: surgical anatomy of its cisternal segment

Neurosurgery. 1994 Jun;34(6):1017-26; discussion 1026.


Twenty-eight abducent nerves were examined after injecting india ink and gelatin into the vertebrobasilar arterial system. All the abducent nerves were found to be crossed and/or penetrated by the surrounding vessels. The ventral surface of the nerves was crossed by the anterior inferior cerebellar artery (AICA) (75.0%), the posterior inferior cerebellar artery (17.85%), the common trunk of the AICA and posterior inferior cerebellar artery (7.14%), the internal auditory artery (14.28%), the anterolateral artery (46.43%), the pontomedullary artery (92.86%), and the corresponding veins (46.43%). The dorsal surface of the cisternal segment was crossed by the AICA (35.71%), the inferolateral pontine artery (10.71%), the anterolateral artery (82.14%), and the certain veins (46.43%). Sixty-four percent of the cisternal segments were penetrated by one or more of the following vessels: the AICA (25.0%), the anterolateral artery (17.86%), the pontomedullary artery (3.57%), and/or by the corresponding veins (42.86%). The majority of the cisternal segments of the abducent nerves were supplied by the anterolateral arteries (85.71%), and only some of them by the AICA (14.29%) or the pontomedullary artery (7.14%). The authors discuss the possible clinical significance of the anatomical data.

MeSH terms

  • Abducens Nerve / blood supply
  • Abducens Nerve / pathology
  • Abducens Nerve / surgery*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arteries / pathology
  • Arteries / surgery
  • Basilar Artery / pathology
  • Basilar Artery / surgery
  • Cerebellum / blood supply
  • Cisterna Magna / blood supply
  • Cisterna Magna / pathology
  • Cisterna Magna / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microsurgery*
  • Middle Aged
  • Reference Values
  • Veins / pathology
  • Veins / surgery
  • Vertebral Artery / pathology
  • Vertebral Artery / surgery