Posterior cerebral artery

Dr Andrew Dixon and A.Prof 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.

The PCA is divided into four segments:

The posterior cerebral artery curls around the cerebral peduncle and passes above the tentorium to supply the posteromedial surface of the temporal lobe and the occipital lobe. The visual cortex responsible for the contralateral field of vision lies in its territory. The macular part of the visual cortex often receives a dual blood supply from the PCA and the MCA, which explains the "macular sparing" phenomenon in some patients following a PCA infarct.

  • fetal origin of PCA: unilateral incidence 10%, bilateral incidence 8%
  • PCA fenestration: rare
  • duplicated PCA: rare, fetal origin and normal origin on same side 6
Anatomy: Brain
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Article information

rID: 4857
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Posterior cerebral artery (PCA)
  • PCA
  • Posterior cerebral arteries

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Cases and figures

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    Figure 1: PCA territoroy in blue
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    Figure 2: PCA territory in blue
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    Figure 3: Cerebral vascular territories
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    Figure 4: normal COW anatomy
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