Posterior spinal artery

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Artery: Posterior spinal artery
CerebellumArteries.jpg
The three major arteries of the cerebellum: the SCA, AICA, and PICA. (Posterior spinal artery is not labeled, but region is visible.)
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Latin Arteria spinalis posterior
Gray's p.579
Source Vertebral or
posterior inferior cerebellar
Branches Descending and ascending branch
Vein Posterior spinal veins

The posterior spinal artery (dorsal spinal artery) arises from the vertebral artery, adjacent to the medulla oblongata.

Path[edit]

It passes posteriorly to descend the medulla passing in front of the posterior roots of the spinal nerves. Along its course it is reinforced by a succession of segmental or radiculopial branches, which enter the vertebral canal through the intervertebral foramina, forming a plexus called the vasocorona. Below the medulla spinalis and upper cervical spine, the posterior spinal arteries are rather discontinuous; unlike the anterior spinal artery, which can be traced as a distinct channel throughout its course, the posterior spinal arteries are seen as somewhat larger longitudinal channels of an extensive pial arterial meshwork. At the level of the conus medullaris, the posterior spinals are more frequently seen as distinct arteries, communicating with the anterior spinal artery to form a characteristic "basket" which angiographically defines the caudal extent of the spinal cord and its transition to the cauda equina.

Branches from the posterior spinal arteries form a free anastomosis around the posterior roots of the spinal nerves, and communicate, by means of very tortuous transverse branches, with the vessels of the opposite side.

Close to its origin each posterior spinal artery gives off an ascending branch, which ends ipsilaterally near the fourth ventricle.

The posterior spinal artery can often originate from the posterior inferior cerebellar artery, rather than the vertebral.

References[edit]

This article incorporates text from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy.

External links[edit]