Posterior inferior cerebellar artery

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Posterior inferior cerebellar artery
The three major arteries of the cerebellum: the SCA, AICA, and PICA (posterior inferior cerebellar artery)
Circle of Willis en.svg
Diagram of the arterial circulation at the base of the brain (PICA is labeled at bottom right)
Latin Arteria cerebelli inferior posterior
Source Vertebral artery
Branches Medial branch
Inferior cerebellar veins
Supplies Cerebellum, choroid plexus of the fourth ventricle
Gray's p.580
TA A12.2.08.012
FMA 50518
Anatomical terminology

The posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA), the largest branch of the vertebral artery, is one of the three main arterial blood supplies for the cerebellum, part of the brain. Occlusion of the posterior inferior cerebellar artery or one of its branches, or of the vertebral artery leads to lateral medullary syndrome also called Wallenberg syndrome.


It winds backward around the upper part of the medulla oblongata, passing between the origins of the vagus nerve and the accessory nerve, over the inferior cerebellar peduncle to the undersurface of the cerebellum, where it divides into two branches.

The medial branch continues backward to the notch between the two hemispheres of the cerebellum; while the lateral supplies the under surface of the cerebellum, as far as its lateral border, where it anastomoses with the anterior inferior cerebellar and the superior cerebellar branches of the basilar artery.

Branches from this artery supply the choroid plexus of the fourth ventricle.


Infarction of this artery due to thrombosis or a stroke leads to posterior inferior cerebellar artery syndrome (PICA syndrome), also known as lateral medullary syndrome, or Wallenberg syndrome. Severe occlusion of this or vertebral arteries could lead to Horner's Syndrome as well.


This article incorporates text in the public domain from the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy (1918)

External links[edit]

The arteries of the base of the brain. Posterior inferior cerebellar artery labeled at bottom. The temporal pole of the cerebrum and a portion of the cerebellar hemisphere have been removed on the right side. Inferior aspect (viewed from below).