Anterior inferior cerebellar artery

The anterior inferior cerebellar artery (AICA) is one of three vessels that provides arterial blood supply to the cerebellum. It has a variable origin, course and supply, with up to 40% of specimens not having an identifiable standard AICA. The amount of tissue supplied by the AICA is variable (PICA-AICA dominance) but usually includes:

Origin 

99% of AICAs arise from the basilar artery, but where along the vessel is variable:

  • 75% lower third
  • 16% middle third
  • 9% vertebrobasilar junction

Branches

  • internal auditory branch (80% single, 20% double) passes into the IAM
  • lateral branch passes around the flocculus and into the hemispheric fissure (supplying both superior and inferior semilunar lobules)
  • medial branch supplies the biventral lobule

Before cross-sectional imaging, the AICA (along with venous displacement) was used to identify posterior fossa intra- or extra-axial masses, especially at the CP angle. Extra-axial masses (e.g. acoustic schwannomas or meningiomas) would displace the vessel whereas intra-axial masses tend not to.

Neuroanatomy
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Article information

rID: 5014
Section: Anatomy
Tags: refs, artery
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Anterior inferior cerebellar artery (AICA)

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Cases and figures

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    PICA AICA SCA AP ...
    Fig 1: PICA, AICA and SCA
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    Fig 2: origin of the cerebellar arteries
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    Fig 3: posterior fossa vascular territories
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    Fig 4: mid-cerebellum
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