Anatomical Science International

, Volume 82, Issue 3, pp 175–179 | Cite as

Bilateral variations of the vertebral arteries: The left originating from the aortic arch and the left and right entering the C5 transverse foramina

  • Akiko Ikegami
  • Yuko Ohtani
  • Osamu Ohtani
Case report


During the dissection course for second year medical students at the University of Toyama in 2005, we encountered variations of the bilateral vertebral arteries: the left directly came off from the aortic arch as the third branch between the left common carotid artery and the left subclavian artery and entered the transverse foramen of C5, instead of C6, whereas the right originated from the right subclavian artery and entered the transverse foramen of C5. The present vertebral artery of each side was possibly formed by the 6th cervical intersegmental artery linked with the longitudinal anastomoses between the cervical intersegmental arteries. Detailed knowledge of vertebral artery variations is crucially important for surgical treatment of blood vessels in the brain, neck and chest.

Key words

anatomy anomaly aortic arch dissection subclavian artery transverse foramen 


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Copyright information

© Japanese Association of Anatomists 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Third Year Medical Student, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of ToyamaToyamaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Anatomy, Graduate School of Medicine and Pharmaceutical SciencesUniversity of ToyamaToyamaJapan

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