Brain blood supply


1. Vertebral Artery- 4th part (Five branches)
2. Basilar Artery- Five branches
3. Internal Carotid Artery (ICA)- 4th part (Five branches)
4. Circle of Willis (COW)- Draw hexagon
5. Cerebellum blood supply- Three artery
6. Clinicals- Stroke, Ataxia, PICA syndrome (Wallenberg syndrome or Lateral medullary syndrome)

NOTE: Vertebral, and Internal carotid artery-

• Both artery are divided into four parts (from neck to head).

• In blood supply of brain, we study only 4th part (Intracranial or cerebral part) of both artery.


NOTE: In the blood supply of brain we study five branches of vertebral artery (4th part or intracranial part), Basilar artery, and Internal carotid artery (4th part or cerebral part).

1. Vertebral Artery-


1. It is the branch of 1st part of subclavian artery (Right and Left) and two in number.

2. Vertebral artery are divided into four part (from neck to head) that are given below-

  a. Intracranial / Intradural part- It gives five branches. (See next point)

  b. Extradural / atlantic part

  c. Foraminal part-
  Present in foramen transversarium of C1 C2 C4 C5 and C6 vertebra.

  d. Pre Foraminal part-
  It is extend from it’s origin (Subclavian artery) to C6 vertebrae.

3. Intracranial part of vertebral artery have five branches-

  1. Anterior spinal artery– Supply to the spinal cord.

  2. Posterior spinal artery– Supply to the spinal cord.

  3. Meningeal branch– to the meninges.

  4. Medullary artery– Supply to the medulla oblongata.

  5. Posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA)– Supply to the cerebellum.

NOTE: For more detail visit our official YouTube Channel ‘The Charsi of Medical Literature’ 

2. Basilar Artery- 

1. Present in the front of pons and extend from lower border of pons (pontomedullary junction) to upper border of pons.

2. It is formed by the joining of two (Right and left) vertebral arteries.

3. Branches of basilar artery- five branches

  a. Posterior cerebral artery– Supply to the cerebral cortex

  b. Pontine artery– to the pons.

  c. Labyrinthine artery– Supply to the internal ear or labyrinth.

  d. Superior cerebellar artery– Supply to the cerebellum.

  e. Anterior inferior cerebellar artery (AICA)– Supply to the cerebellum.

NOTE: See TCML model explanation video for more detail.

3. Internal carotid artery-

1. It is the branch of common carotid artery.

2. ICA divide into four parts (From neck to head)-

  a. Cervical part

  b. Petrous part 

  c. Cavernous part

  d. Cerebral part

In the blood supply of brain we study only 4th / cerebral part and it’s branches.

3. Branches of cerebral part of ICA-

  1. Anterior cerebral artery (ACA)
  2. Middle cerebral artery (MCA)
  3. Posterior communicating artery
  4. Ophthalmic artery– Supply to the eye ball.
  5. Anterior choroidal artery– Supply to the choroidal plexus.

4. Circle of Willis (COW)- 

1. As the clear by name it is circle of arteries and formed by the branches of ICA and basilar artery.

2. At first we understand that how to draw circle of willis.

  To draw COW please follow 3 steps that are given below- (see figure)

  Step 1. Draw a Hexagon- It has 6 ends and 6 edges.

  Step 2. Each end of hexagon represent one cerebral artery (Anterior, middle and posterior cerebral artery)

  Step 3. Edges of hexagon represent communicating and cerebral artery (consecutively draw both artery)

NOTE: For detail please visit our official YouTube Channel ‘The Charsi of Medical Literature’ and watch brain supply video.

5. Cerebellum blood supply-

1. Three artery supplies to the cerebellum and these are the branch of vertebral and basilar artery.

  a. Superior cerebellar artery– It is the branch of basilar artery.
  b. Anterior inferior cerebellar artery– branch of basilar artery.
  c. Posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA)– branch of vertebral artery (4th part)

2. Ataxia- Due to decrease blood supply of cerebellum. (See point 6. clinicals)

6. Clinicals-

1. Stroke- It is caused by due to Ischemia or hemorrhage of brain blood vessels.

2. Wallenberg Syndrome or PICA syndrome or Lateral medullary syndrome- In this medulla blood supply decrease.

3. Ataxia- Blood supply of cerebellum are decrease so as result cerebellum functions (Coordination movement) are affect.

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