Basilar artery

The basilar artery (Latin: arteria basilaris) is a single large blood vessel that is formed by the union of the two vertebral arteries. The basilar artery arises at the mid-medullary level, ascends vertically in a shallow medial groove on the ventral surface of the pons and reaches the interpeduncular cistern. Here, it divides into two posterior cerebral arteries - terminal branches of the basilar artery.

The basilar artery gives off several side branches, including:

The pontine branches of the basilar artery are small vessels that supply the pons. They originate from the front and sides of the basilar artery as it travels along the pons. The labyrinthine artery (also internal auditory artery) is a branch that sometimes arises from the lower part of the basilar artery. It supplies the vestibular apparatus and the cochlea.

The anterior inferior cerebellar artery (AICA) originates from the inferior part of the basilar artery and supplies the inferior cerebellar surface. The superior cerebellar artery arises from the superior part of the basilar artery and supplies the superior cerebellar surface, pineal body, superior medullary velum, and tela choroidea of the third ventricle.

Thus, regions supplied by the basilar artery include the pons, structures of the inner ear, inferior and superior cerebellar surfaces, upper medulla oblongata, pineal body, superior medullary velum, and tela choroidea of the third ventricle.