The Embryological Development of the Cerebrovascular System

Kaitlin Reilly, Jose Gutierrez

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The development of the cerebral arteries starts in the 4th week of embryological life and evolves through the course of gestation. The guiding principle to the development of the arterial system is supply and demand, in which the timing and geometric configuration of arteries parallels the asynchronous development of brain areas. The primitive carotid arteries emerge from the third aortic arch and the paired dorsal aortae. Subsequently, the anterior circulation proper forms distally by division of the primitive internal carotid artery into two divisions: 1) anterior (originating later the anterior, middle cerebral and anterior choroidal arteries) and posterior (originating later the posterior cerebral, posterior choroidal and posterior communicating arteries arise). The longitudinal neural arteries form the posterior circulation in early stage. Three transient arteries, which branch from the internal carotid arteries, supply the longitudinal neural arteries: the trigeminal artery, otic artery (also known as the acoustic artery) and the hypoglossal artery, which together form the carotid-vertebrobasilar anastomosis. Eventually, these anastomoses regress as the primitive vertebral arteries begin to form from an anastomosis of the intersegmental arteries and the proatlantal intersegmental artery.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPediatric Vascular Neurosurgery
Subtitle of host publicationTechnical Nuances in Contemporary Pediatric Neurosurgery (Part 2)
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9783030747497
ISBN (Print)9783030747480
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • Brain arterial remodeling
  • Cerebral arteries
  • Embryogenesis
  • Fetal brain circulation


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