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Sulcal arteries are penetrating branches from the anterior spinal artery and extend posteriorly through the anterior median fissure of the spinal cord. The sulcal arteries supply the anterior two-thirds of the spinal cord at any cross-sectional level.
Successive sulcal arteries generally alternate in their distribution to the left or right side of the spinal cord but not both 1,2. As a result occlusion of a single sulcal artery will result in a short segment of spinal cord infarction confined to the anterior part of the cord on only one side. This is known as sulcal artery syndrome and represents an incomplete Brown-Séquard syndrome.
- 1. Bowen BC, Rivera A, Saraf-Lavi E. Spine Imaging. Elsevier Health Sciences. (2008) ISBN:0323076475. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon
- 2. Beuls E, Gelan J, Vandersteen M et-al. Microanatomy of the excised human spinal cord and the cervicomedullary junction examined with high-resolution MR imaging at 9.4 Tesla. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 1993;14 (3): 699-707. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol (abstract) - Pubmed citation