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David Perlmutter and Albert L. Rhoton Jr.

✓ The microsurgical anatomy of the distal anterior cerebral artery (ACA) has been defined in 50 cerebral hemispheres. The distal ACA, the portion beginning at the anterior communicating artery (ACoA), was divided into four segments (A2 through A5) according to Fischer. The distal ACA gave origin to central and cerebral branches. The central branches passed to the optic chiasm, suprachiasmatic area, and anterior forebrain below the corpus callosum. The cerebral branches were divided into cortical, subcortical, and callosal branches. The most frequent site of origin of the cortical branches was as follows: orbitofrontal and frontopolar arteries, A2; the anterior and middle internal frontal and callosomarginal arteries, A3; the paracentral artery, A4; and the superior and inferior parietal arteries, A5. The posterior internal frontal artery arose with approximately equal frequency from A3 and A4 and the callosomarginal artery. All the cortical branches arose more frequently from the pericallosal than the callosomarginal artery. Of the major cortical branches, the internal frontal and paracentral arteries arose most frequently from the callosomarginal artery. The distal ACA of one hemisphere sent branches to the contralateral hemisphere in 64% of brains. The anterior portions of the hemisphere between the 5-cm and 15-cm points on the circumferential line showed the most promise of revealing a recipient artery of sufficient size for an extracranial-intracranial artery anastomosis. The distal ACA was the principal artery supplying the corpus callosum. The recurrent artery, which arose from the A2 segment in 78% of hemispheres, sent branches into the subcortical area around the anterior limb of the internal capsule.

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David Perlmutter and Albert L. Rhoton Jr.

✓ The microvascular relationships important to surgery of aneurysms in the anterior communicating region were defined in 50 cadaver brains. The recurrent artery of Heubner was frequently exposed before the A-1 segment in defining the neck on anterior cerebral aneurysms because it commonly courses anterior to A-1. It arose from the A-2 segment of the anterior cerebral artery (ACA) in 78% and most commonly terminated in the area of the anterior perforated substance, and lateral to it in the Sylvian fissure. The anterior communicating artery (ACoA) frequently gave rise to perforating arteries which terminated in the superior surface of the optic chiasm and above the chiasm in the anterior hypothalamus. This finding contrasts with previous reports that no perforating branches arise from the communicating artery. The proximal half of the A-1 segment was a richer source of perforating arteries than the distal half. The A-1 branches most commonly terminated in the anterior perforated substance, the optic chiasm, and the region of the optic tract. The ACoA increased in size as the difference in the diameter between the right and left A-1 segments increased. Frequent variants such as double or triple ACoA's, triple A-2 segments, and duplication of the A-1 segments were encountered. The clinical consequences of occlusion of the recurrent artery and of the perforators from the ACoA and medial and lateral segment of A-1 are reviewed.