, Volume 19, Issue 12, pp 2986-2992,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 17 Jun 2009

Perforating arteries originating from the posterior communicating artery: a 7.0-Tesla MRI study


The aim of this study was to investigate the ability of time-of-flight (TOF) magnetic resonance (MR) angiography at 7.0 Tesla to show the perforating branches of the posterior communicating artery (PCoA), and to investigate the presence of such visible perforating branches in relation to the size of the feeding PCoA. The secondary aim was to visualise and describe the anterior choroidal artery and the perforating branches of the P1-segment of posterior cerebral artery (P1). Forty-six healthy volunteers underwent TOF MR angiography at 7.0 Tesla. With 7.0-Tesla imaging, we visualised for the first time perforating arteries originating from the PCoA in vivo without the use of contrast agents. A perforating artery from the PCoA was found in a large proportion of the PCoAs (64%). The presence was associated with a larger diameter of the underlying PCoA (1.23 versus 1.06 mm, P = 0.03). The anterior choroidal artery was visible bilaterally in all participants. In 83% of all P1s, one or two perforating branches were visible. Non-invasive assessment of the perforating arteries of the PCoA together with the anterior choroidal artery and the perforating arteries of the P1 may increase our understanding of infarcts in the deep brain structures supplied by these arteries.