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Fenestrations of the intracranial vertebrobasilar system diagnosed by MR angiography

  • Diagnostic Neuroradiology
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Fenestrations of cerebral arteries are most common in the vertebrobasilar (VB) system, and magnetic resonance (MR) angiographic studies of these variations are sparse.


We retrospectively reviewed MR angiographic images of 3,327 patients; images were obtained using two 1.5-T imagers and picked up fenestrations of the intracranial vertebral artery (VA), VB junction, and basilar artery (BA) for evaluation.


In 92 patients, we found 93 fenestrations (2.80%), which included 18 of the intracranial VA (0.54% prevalence), 6 of the VB junction (0.18%), and 69 of the BA (2.07%). Most VA fenestrations were large, and the posterior inferior cerebellar artery arose from the fenestrated segment in 10 patients (56%). Fenestrations of the VB junction were small and triangular. Sixty-five (94%) of the 69 BA fenestrations were located at the proximal segment and had small slit-like configurations. The anterior inferior cerebellar artery arose from the fenestrated segment in 27 patients (37%). We found 18 cerebral aneurysms in 16 (17%) of the 92 patients with fenestration but detected only one aneurysm at the fenestration.


The overall prevalence of fenestrations of the intracranial VB system was 2.77%. We found associated cerebral aneurysms relatively frequently but rarely at the fenestration.

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

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We declare that we have no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Akira Uchino.

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Uchino, A., Saito, N., Okada, Y. et al. Fenestrations of the intracranial vertebrobasilar system diagnosed by MR angiography. Neuroradiology 54, 445–450 (2012).

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