open access

Vol 65, No 2 (2006)
CASE REPORTS
Published online: 2006-03-09
Submitted: 2012-02-06
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A rare variation of the vertebral artery

M.M. Shoja, R.S. Tubbs, A.A. Khaki, G. Shokouhi, R.M. Farahani, A. Moein
Folia Morphol 2006;65(2):167-170.

open access

Vol 65, No 2 (2006)
CASE REPORTS
Published online: 2006-03-09
Submitted: 2012-02-06

Abstract

Variations of the vertebrobasilar arterial complex are important with regard to their potential clinical impact. We present an unusual case of the vertebral artery, in which the left vertebral artery in its ascent in the neck through the transverse foramina passed posteriorly between the transverse processes of C3 and C4 and supplied the posterior muscles of the neck without continuing intracranially. Albeit speculatively, we hypothesise that the variation of the vertebral artery reported here was caused by degeneration of the proximal portion of the left postcostal longitudinal anastomosis (i.e. C1 and C2 intersegmental arteries) in the context of a persistent third cervical intersegmental artery. Our case is unique in that the left vertebral artery terminated extracranially. Knowledge of the variations of the vertebrobasilar arterial complex is important for surgeons operating at the skull base, craniocervical junction, and cervical region, and for clinicians interpreting the imaging of this region.

Abstract

Variations of the vertebrobasilar arterial complex are important with regard to their potential clinical impact. We present an unusual case of the vertebral artery, in which the left vertebral artery in its ascent in the neck through the transverse foramina passed posteriorly between the transverse processes of C3 and C4 and supplied the posterior muscles of the neck without continuing intracranially. Albeit speculatively, we hypothesise that the variation of the vertebral artery reported here was caused by degeneration of the proximal portion of the left postcostal longitudinal anastomosis (i.e. C1 and C2 intersegmental arteries) in the context of a persistent third cervical intersegmental artery. Our case is unique in that the left vertebral artery terminated extracranially. Knowledge of the variations of the vertebrobasilar arterial complex is important for surgeons operating at the skull base, craniocervical junction, and cervical region, and for clinicians interpreting the imaging of this region.
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Keywords

vertebral; artery; variation; vertebrobasilar; anatomy

About this article
Title

A rare variation of the vertebral artery

Journal

Folia Morphologica

Issue

Vol 65, No 2 (2006)

Pages

167-170

Published online

2006-03-09

Bibliographic record

Folia Morphol 2006;65(2):167-170.

Keywords

vertebral
artery
variation
vertebrobasilar
anatomy

Authors

M.M. Shoja
R.S. Tubbs
A.A. Khaki
G. Shokouhi
R.M. Farahani
A. Moein

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