The arteries of the corpus callosum: a microsurgical anatomic study

Neurosurgery. 1996 Dec;39(6):1075-84; discussion 1084-5. doi: 10.1097/00006123-199612000-00001.


Objective: The corpus callosum is the major commissural pathway connecting the hemispheres of the human brain. It is particularly important, because various tumors and vascular lesions can be located in and around the corpus callosum, and it is a route through which pass several surgical approaches. Performing accurate surgery in this region and avoiding damage to normal structures require that the neurosurgeon have adequate knowledge of the anatomy of the intricate blood supply to this area.

Methods: In 20 cadaver brains, the arteries of the corpus callosum were examined under the operating microscope, with particular attention to the origin, course, anastomoses, number, and caliber of the arteries.

Results: In all specimens, the pericallosal and posterior pericallosal arteries were found to be the main sources of blood supply to the corpus callosum. In 80% of the specimens, the anterior communicating artery gave rise to either a subcallosal artery or a median callosal artery, each of which made a substantial contribution to the blood supply of the corpus callosum. A detailed examination of the anatomic features of all the main arteries of supply revealed anastomoses within the callosal sulcus that formed the pericallosal pial plexus. This network supplied the corpus callosum, the radiation of the corpus callosum, and the cingulate gyrus.

Conclusion: Familiarity with the details of the vascularity of the corpus callosum is crucial when performing surgery in this region. The additional, significant data described expands the knowledge of this anatomy, which can enhance the surgeon's ability to accomplish a more accurate and successful exploration.

MeSH terms

  • Cadaver
  • Cerebral Arteries / anatomy & histology*
  • Cerebral Arteries / surgery*
  • Corpus Callosum / blood supply*
  • Genetic Variation
  • Humans
  • Medical Illustration
  • Microsurgery*
  • Photography
  • Pia Mater / blood supply