Anterior spinal arteries: Origin and distribution in man

A. Rodriguez-Baeza, A. Muset-Lara, M. Rodriguez-Pazos, J. M. Domenech-Mateu

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This study was designed to extend our present knowledge of the origin and distribution of anterior spinal arteries and was carried our using 31 human cadavers with arterial injections of natural latex. The conclusions reached are that there arc always one or two anterior spinal arteries (right or left). which proceed from the intracranial segment of the vertebral arteries. These arteries have a descending course, with distribution into the ventral face of the medulla oblongata and the first cervical segments of the medulla spinalis. In cases where there are two anterior spinal arteries. they anastomose with each other to form the common, unpaired and median anterior spinal artery. The different observed locations of the origins of anterior spinal arteries may be systematised into three types. Each of these types has differential characteristics: bilateral origin (type I; 77.4%). unilateral origin (type II:9.7%) and origin in an intervertebral transversal anastomosis (type III; 12.9%). We do however subdivide the bilateral origin group, according to the calibre of the arteries, into the subtypes “balanced” (type Ia: 22.6%), 'right dominated' (type Ib; 32.2%) and 'left dominated'(type Ic: 22.6%). The collaterals of the anterior spinal arteries which distribute into the ventral face of the medulla oblongata are described. © 1989 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-221
JournalCells Tissues Organs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1989


  • Anterior spinal arteries
  • Arterial supply
  • Man
  • Spinal cord


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