Fetal posterior cerebral artery
Citation, DOI & article data
A fetal (origin of the) posterior cerebral artery is a common variant in the posterior cerebral circulation, estimated to occur in 20-30% of individuals 2.
The posterior communicating artery (PCom) is larger than the P1 segment of the posterior cerebral artery (PCA) and supplies the bulk of the blood to the PCA 4. Meanwhile, the type of PCom supplying the PCA is also called fetal PCom 5. If bilateral, the basilar artery is significantly smaller than normal.
The term is typically used to refer to the situation where the PCom is larger than the P1. However, variation in usage abounds.
The P1 can be small (hypoplastic) or absent. The significance is in the stroke pattern, as the PCA is practically a part of the anterior circulation. Additionally, a larger PCom with an existing P1 allows for collateral circulation.
In cases of non-fetal PCA, the PCom lies superomedial to the oculomotor nerve, whereas in cases of fetal PCA, it lies superior or superolateral to it.
- 1. Yamamoto Y, Georgiadis AL, Chang HM et-al. Posterior cerebral artery territory infarcts in the New England Medical Center Posterior Circulation Registry. Arch. Neurol. 1999;56 (7): 824-32. Arch. Neurol. (link) - Pubmed citation
- 2. Zampakis P, Panagiotopoulos V, Petsas T et-al. Common and uncommon intracranial arterial anatomic variations in multi-detector computed tomography angiography (MDCTA). What radiologists should be aware of. Insights into imaging. 6 (1): 33-42. doi:10.1007/s13244-014-0381-x - Pubmed
- 3. Lambert SL, Williams FJ, Oganisyan ZZ et-al. Fetal-Type Variants of the Posterior Cerebral Artery and Concurrent Infarction in the Major Arterial Territories of the Cerebral Hemisphere. (2016) Journal of investigative medicine high impact case reports. 4 (3): 2324709616665409. doi:10.1177/2324709616665409 - Pubmed
- 4. Capone S, Shah N, George-St Bernard R. A Fetal-Type Variant Posterior Communicating Artery and Its Clinical Significance. Cureus. 2019;11(7):e5064. doi:10.7759/cureus.5064 - Pubmed
- 5. Mohamed Micdhadhu M, Kho K, Murad M, Looi I. Fetal Posterior Communicating Artery as a Conduit for Concurrent Anterior and Posterior Circulation Infarct: A Case Report. CVNS. 2021;3(4):7-11. doi:10.32896/cvns.v3n4.7-11