Basilar artery

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"Basilar" redirects here. For other uses, see Basilar (disambiguation).
Basilar artery
Circle of Willis en.svg
The basilar artery (middle of figure) arises from the vertebral arteries and terminates when it bifurcates in the left and right posterior cerebral arteries.
Sobo 1909 3 548.png
The arteries of the base of the brain. Basilar artery labeled below center. The temporal pole of the cerebrum and the cerebellar hemisphere have been removed on the right side. Inferior aspect (viewed from below).
Latin Arteria basilaris
Source Vertebral arteries
Branches Pontine perforating branches, anterior inferior cerebellar (AICA) and superior cerebellar arteries, and terminal posterior cerebral arteries.
Supplies Pons, and superior and inferior aspects of the cerebellum.
Gray's p.580
MeSH A07.231.114.106
TA A12.2.07.081
FMA 50542
Anatomical terminology

In human anatomy, the basilar artery is one of the arteries that supplies the brain with oxygen-rich blood.

The two vertebral arteries and the basilar artery are sometimes together called the vertebrobasilar system, which supplies blood to the posterior part of circle of Willis and anastomoses with blood supplied to the anterior part of the circle of Willis from the internal carotid arteries.


The basilar artery arises from the confluence of the two vertebral arteries at the junction between the medulla oblongata and the pons between the VIth cranial nerves.[1]

It ascends superiorly in the central gutter (sulcus basilaris) ventral to the pons and divides at the ponto-mesencephalic junction into the paired posterior cerebral arteries close to the pituitary stalk.

Its branches can be divided into two groups:[1]

A. Paramedian perforating arteries arising either directly from the dorsal surface or from short circumferential arteries running around and into the pons supplying the corticospinal tracts and vital deep nuclei.

B. Two or three paired long circumferential branches:

-internal auditory or labyrinthine artery, which may arise directly from the basilar artery in about 15% of people, but more commonly as a branch from the:

-anterior inferior cerebellar artery (supplying the inferior and middle cerebellar peduncles of the cerebellum) and the adjacent hemisphere).

-superior cerebellar artery.

Additional images[edit]


  1. ^ a b Byrne, James (2012). "Chapter 2. Cranial arterial anatomy". Tutorials in endovascular neurosurgery and interventional neuroradiology. Berlin: Springer. pp. 37–38. 

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