Basilar artery

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Artery: Basilar artery
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The basilar artery (middle of figure) arises from the vertebral arteries and terminates when it bifurcates in the left and right posterior cerebral arteries.
Latin arteria basilaris
Gray's subject #148 580
Source vertebral arteries   
MeSH Basilar+Artery

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

Overview

In human anatomy, the basilar artery is one of the arteries that supplies the brain with oxygen-rich blood.

Course

It arises from the confluence of the two vertebral arteries at the junction between the medulla oblongata and the pons.

It ascends in the central gutter (sulcus basilaris) inferior to the pons and divides into the posterior cerebral arteries and the superior cerebellar artery just inferior to the pituitary stalk.

From the basilar artery arises the superior inferior cerebellar artery (supplying the superior and inferior aspects of the cerebellum), as well as smaller branches for the supply of the pons (the pontine branches).

Pathology

Thrombosis of the basilar artery can be life-threatening, as it leads to hypoxia and ischemia of the brainstem.

Poor prognoses are common and these can include paralysis of all extremities, heavy disturbances in sensation, difficulty in swallowing and difficulty in respiration.

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