Vascularization of the skull base--review of the literature and illustrative cases.

C Vasconcelos, J Xavier, J Almeida-Pinto, R Cruz


The dural vascularization of the skull base and proximal nervous structures, depends on the external carotid artery, internal carotid artery and vertebral artery branches. The authors describe these branches, emphasizing possible anastomoses between them, and present images from their own experience. Such arterio-arterial anastomosis represent incomplete regressions of embryologic arterial connections and are always present, but functionally inactive. It is usually in the presence of pathologic situations (stroke, tumours, dural fistulas) that they become active and, therefore, special care is necessary if endovascular procedures with embolic material are to be performed.

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