Posterior cerebral artery

Posterior cerebral artery
The outer surface of the human brain, with the area supplied by the posterior cerebral artery shown in yellow.
The arterial circle and arteries of the brain (inferior view). The posterior cerebral arteries (bottom forks) arise from the basilar artery (center).
Sourcebasilar artery (most common in adults)
Veincerebral veins
Suppliesoccipital lobe of cerebrum
Latinarteria cerebri posterior
Anatomical terminology

The posterior cerebral artery (PCA) is one of a pair of arteries that supply oxygenated blood to the occipital lobe, part of the back of the human brain. The two arteries originate from the distal end of the basilar artery, where it bifurcates into the left and right posterior cerebral arteries. These anastomose with the middle cerebral arteries and internal carotid arteries via the posterior communicating arteries.



The branches of the posterior cerebral artery are divided into two sets, ganglionic and cortical:

Central branches

Also known as the perforating branches:

(Posterior) choroidal branches

Not to be confused with the Anterior choroidal artery

The posterior choroidal branches of the posterior cerebral artery are sometimes referred to as a single posterior choroidal artery.

Cortical branches

The cortical branches are:


The development of the PCA in fetal brain comes relatively late and arises from the fusion of several embryonic vessels near the caudal end of the PCommA supplying the mesencephalon and diencephalon of the fetus.[2] The PCA begins as such, as a continuation of the PCommA in the fetus with only 10–30% of fetuses having a prominent basilar origin.[3]

The fetal carotid origin of the PCA usually regresses as the vertebral and basilar arteries develop with the PCommA reducing is size. In most adults, the PCA sources from the anterior portion of the basilar artery. Only about 19% of adults retain PCommA dominance of the PCA with 72% having dominant basilar origin, and the rest having either equal prominence between PCommA and basilar artery, or a single exclusive source.[3]

Clinical significance


Signs and symptoms:Structures involved

See: Posterior cerebral artery syndrome

Peripheral territory (Cortical branches)

Central territory (Ganglionic branches)

See also

Additional images


  1. ^ Atlas of Human Anatomy, Frank Netter
  2. ^ Osborn, Anne G.; Jacobs, John M. (1999), Diagnostic Cerebral Angiography, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, p. 153, ISBN 978-0-397-58404-8
  3. ^ a b Krayenbühl, Hugo; Yaşargil, Mahmut Gazi; Huber, Peter; Bosse, George (1982), Cerebral Angiography , Thieme, pp. 163–165, ISBN 978-0-86577-067-6

External links

Categories: Arteries of the head and neck

Information as of: 12.06.2021 01:47:48 CEST

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