Vascular Anatomy

Here is a diagram of vascular anatomy.

1: Middle cerebral artery

The main branches of the internal carotids are the middle and anterior cerebral arteries (anterior circulation).

2: Internal carotid artery

The internal carotids supply blood to the anterior three-fifths of the cerebrum:

  • Frontal lobe
  • Parietal lobe
  • Part of the temporal lobe
3: Vertebral artery

The vertebrobasilar arteries supply the posterior two-fifths of the cerebrum:

  • Occipital lobe
  • Part of the temporal lobe

They also supply part of the cerebellum and the brain stem (posterior circulation).

The basilar artery formed by the union of the two vertebral arteries gives off the posterior cerebral arteries.

4: Common carotid artery

The common carotids each divide into two branches:

  • External carotid, supplying the exterior of the head, the face and the greater part of the neck
  • Internal carotid
5: Arch of the aorta

The arch of the aorta is the portion between the ascending and descending aorta. The left common carotid originates directly off the highest part of the arch.