Persistent primitive trigeminal artery (PPTA) is one of the persistent carotid-vertebrobasilar anastomoses, and is present in 0.1 - 0.6% of cerebral angiograms and is usually unilateral.
In utero the trigeminal artery supplies the basilar artery before development of the posterior communicating and vertebral arteries. A PTA arises from the junction between petrous and cavernous ICA, and runs posterolaterally along the trigeminal nerve (41%), or crosses over or through the dorsum sellae (59%). Vertebral, posterior communicating and caudal basilar arteries are often hypoplastic. There is an association with intracranial aneurysms and vascular malformations.
A characteristic 'tau sign' is described as its apperance on sagittal MR images.
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- 1. Osborn AG. Diagnostic neuroradiology. Mosby Inc. (1994) ISBN:0801674867. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon
- 2. Dimmick SJ, Faulder KC. Normal variants of the cerebral circulation at multidetector CT angiography. Radiographics. 29 (4): 1027-43. doi:10.1148/rg.294085730 - Pubmed citation
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