The surgical anatomy of the perforating branches of the basilar artery

Neurosurgery. 1993 Jul;33(1):80-7. doi: 10.1227/00006123-199307000-00012.


The perforating branches of the basilar artery were examined in 14 brain stems injected with india ink or methylmethacrylate. Three groups of the perforators were distinguished: the caudal, the middle, and the rostral. The caudal perforators varied in number from two to five and in diameter from 80 to 600 microns. In addition to their terminal branches, which entered the foramen cecum, the perforators occasionally branched off the pontomedullary artery, the pyramidal vessels, and the hypoglossal branches. The middle perforators arose either separately from the basilar artery or along with the basilar artery collateral branches. They ranged in number from five to nine and in diameter from 210 to 940 microns. The perforators gave rise to the pontomedullary artery (8.3%), the long pontine arteries (25.0%), and the anterolateral vessels (100%). The rostral perforators originated from the terminal part of the basilar artery (91.6%), as well as from the superior cerebellar artery (91.6%) and the posterolateral artery (16.6%). They varied in number from one to five and in diameter from 190 to 800 microns. The anastomoses among various perforating vessels were noted in 41.6 to 66.6% of the cases. The authors discussed the possible clinical significance of the anatomical data observed in this study.

MeSH terms

  • Basilar Artery / anatomy & histology*
  • Basilar Artery / surgery
  • Brain Stem / blood supply*
  • Carbon*
  • Coloring Agents
  • Corrosion Casting
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / epidemiology
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / pathology
  • Intracranial Arteriovenous Malformations / pathology


  • Coloring Agents
  • chinese ink
  • Carbon