Morphological expression of the basilar artery. A study with Colombian population’s autopsy material

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Forero Pedro Luis; Ballesteros Luis Ernesto & Ramírez Luis Miguel


The basilar artery (BA) has a variable expression which is determinant in the etiology of clinical events that compromise the brain stem. The purpose of this study was to determine the morphological expression of BA in a Colombian population sample. We studied 100 brainstems of individuals which underwent an autopsy at the Instituto de Medicina Legal of Bucaramanga. The vertebra basilar system was perfused with synthetic resin and its calibers, paths, levels of origin and end of the BA were evaluated. The BA presented a rectilinear trajectory in 68%, deviation to the right in 12%, sinuous in 10% and deviation to the left in 10%. The total length of the BA was 30.2 mm SD 4.07, its length in relation to the origin of the superior cerebellar artery was 28.1 mm SD 3.84. The proximal and distal caliber of the BA were 3.96 mm SD 0.48 mm and 3.7 mm SD 0.58 respectively. In relation to the origin arteries of the AB, hypoplasia was observed (≥ 2 mm) of the right vertebral artery in 8% and the left vertebral artery in 11% (P = 0.30). The origin of BA was observed at different spontomedullary groove levels: at level in 43%, above it in 30% and below it in 27% of the cases. The sinuous and diverted paths from the BA observed and the presence of vertebral artery hypoplasia are slightly higher than those reported in previous studies, while its length is at medium range and its caliber is slightly lower than reported in the literature

KEY WORDS: Anatomical variation; Basilar artery; Vertebral artery; Brainstem.

How to cite this article

FORERO, P. L.; BALLESTEROS, L. E. & RAMÍREZ, L. M. Morphological expression of the basilar artery. A study with Colombian  population’s autopsy material. Int. J. Morphol., 31(3):1090-1096, 2013.