Surgical and Radiologic Anatomy

, Volume 34, Issue 3, pp 271–276 | Cite as

Persistent trigeminal artery and its variants on MR angiography

  • Akira UchinoEmail author
  • Naoko Saito
  • Yoshitaka Okada
  • Eito Kozawa
  • Waka Mizukoshi
  • Kaiji Inoue
  • Masahiro Takahashi
Original Article



A persistent trigeminal artery (PTA) is the most common carotid-vertebrobasilar anastomosis. A cerebellar artery that arises from the precavernous segment of the internal carotid artery (ICA) without connecting to the basilar artery is regarded as a PTA variant. Our study aimed to determine the incidence of PTA and its variants and classify them based on magnetic resonance (MR) angiography.


We retrospectively reviewed cranial images of 3,626 patients who underwent MR angiography in our institution from April 1, 2007 through December 31, 2009. We ultimately reviewed and analyzed images of 3,491 patients (2,066 men, 1,425 women) after excluding 135 with unilateral or bilateral ICA occlusion or suboptimal image quality.


We found 12 cases of PTA (7 men, 5 women; right 4, left 8; incidence; 0.34%) and 6 of PTA variants (3 men, 3 women; right 3, left 3; incidence; 0.17%). 11 of the 12 PTAs were lateral type; 1 was medial. In two of the lateral-type cases, the superior cerebellar artery (SCA) arose from the PTA. Among the six variants, the anterior inferior cerebellar artery (AICA) arose in five and the posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA), in one.


On MR angiography, the incidence of PTA was 0.34% and of PTA variants, 0.17%. Left PTA was twice as frequent as right PTA, but with no statistical significance. Medial-type PTA was extremely rare. AICA arose in most PTA variants. Rarely, a lateral-type PTA gave rise to the cerebellar artery.


Anterior inferior cerebellar artery Carotid-vertebrobasilar anastomosis Magnetic resonance angiography Persistent trigeminal artery Posterior inferior cerebellar artery Superior cerebellar artery 



We thank Rosalyn Uhrig, M.A., for editorial assistance in the preparation of this manuscript.

Conflict of interest

We declare that we have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Akira Uchino
    • 1
    Email author
  • Naoko Saito
    • 1
  • Yoshitaka Okada
    • 1
  • Eito Kozawa
    • 1
  • Waka Mizukoshi
    • 1
  • Kaiji Inoue
    • 1
  • Masahiro Takahashi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Diagnostic RadiologySaitama Medical University International Medical CenterSaitamaJapan

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