Superior cerebellar artery

Last revised by Ashesh Ishwarlal Ranchod on 3 Apr 2023

The superior cerebellar artery (SCA) arises from the distal basilar artery, just below the posterior cerebral artery (PCA) and typically supplies:

Unlike the anterior inferior cerebellar artery (AICA) and posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA) the SCA is rarely absent. It is frequently duplicated:

  • unilateral duplication: 28%
  • bilateral duplication: 8%
  • triplication: 2%

The upper branch, when multiple, may arise from the PCA and usually supplies the vermis, whereas the lower branch supplies the hemisphere.


  1. anterior pontine (or prepontine) segment
  2. ambient segment
  3. quadrigeminal segment
    • located in the lateral portion of the quadrigeminal cistern
    • approaches the contralateral SCA near the midline


  • perforating branches
    • pons
    • midbrain
    • inferior colliculus
  • lateral (marginal) branch
    • largest branch of the SCA
    • usually arises from the ambient segment
    • runs posteriorly in the region of the interhemispheric fissure
    • gives off hemispheric branches that course superiorly over the superior cerebellar hemisphere
  • hemispheric branches
    • arise from the lateral (marginal) branch and from the SCA distal to the origin of the lateral branch also from the ambient segment
    • supplies dentate nucleus
    • superior vermis
    • medial quadrigeminal lobule
    • superior semilunar lobule
  • superior vermian
    • terminal branch(es) of the SCA
    • anastomose with inferior vermian branches of the PICA

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: posterior fossa vascular territories
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  • Figure 2: common variants of the circle of Willis: diagrams
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  • Figure 2: superior cerebellum
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  • Figure 4: origin of the cerebellar arteries
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  • Figure 5: PICA, AICA and SCA
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  • Figure 6: brainstem arterial territories
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  • Case 1: superior cerebellar artery infarct
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  • Case 2: early hyperacute ischemic stroke
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