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Posterior cerebral artery

Dr Henry Knipe and Dr Frank Gaillard et al.

The posterior cerebral arteries (PCA) are the terminal branches of the basilar artery and supply the occipital lobes and posteromedial temporal lobes.


Gross anatomy

The PCA is divided into four segments:

  • P1: from it origin at the termination of the basilar artery to posterior communicating artery (PCOM), within interpeduncular cistern.
  • P2: from the PCOM around the mid-brain, divided into P2A (anterior) and P2P (posterior) sub-segments.  P2A is within crural cistern which then bridges to the P2P segement in ambient cistern (thus ambient segment)
  • P3: quadrigeminal segment (segment with the quadrigeminal cistern)
  • P4: cortical segment (e.g. calcarine artery, within the calcarine fissure)

Variant anatomy

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