Basilar artery

The basilar artery is part of the posterior cerebral circulation. It arises from the confluence of the left and right vertebral arteries at the base of the pons as they rise towards the base of the brain.

The basilar artery runs cranially in the central groove of the pons towards the midbrain within the pontine cistern. It travels within this groove from the lower pontine border adjacent to the exit of the abducens nerve to the upper pontine border and the appearance of the oculomotor nerve. It bifurcates at the upper pontine border. 

Before terminating at the upper pontine border where it divides into the two posterior cerebral arteries, it provides several paired branches:

Anatomy: Brain

Anatomy: Brain

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Article information

rID: 4469
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: normal anatomy
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  • Case 1: cerebral angiography
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  • Figure 2: cerebral vascular territories
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  • Figure 3: vertebral artery
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  • Figure 4: vertebral artery
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  • Case 2: basilar tip aneurysm
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