Intracranial vessels lack vasa vasorum

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✓ A micro-corrosion technique was used to demonstrate an extensive vasa vasorum network in extracranial vessels but did not reveal this system in intracranial vessels of comparable size in three species of animals. The absence of a vasa vasorum network in cerebral vessels may result in a higher level of susceptibility to periarterial abnormalities, such as cerebral vasospasm secondary to subarachnoid hemorrhage.

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Address reprint requests to: Ben R. Clower, Ph.D., Department of Anatomy, University Medical Center, 2500 North State Street, Jackson, Mississippi 39216.

© AANS, except where prohibited by US copyright law.

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Figures

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    Cast showing a vasa vasorum network on the surface of the ulnar artery of the cat. × 160.

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    Cast of a facial artery of a rat showing an extensive vasa vasorum network. × 160.

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    Cast of a radial artery of a dog showing vasa vasorum × 40.

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    Bifurcation of the internal carotid artery at the circle of Willis from a cat. Note absence of a VV surface network. Left: A single arteriole is present near the bifurcation site showing peculiar spiraling (arrow). × 40. Right: Higher magnification showing peculiar spiral strips on the single arteriole upon the surface of the vessel. Also note the imprints made by endothelial cells upon the surface of the cast. × 400

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    Cast of the middle cerebral artery of a dog showing no vasa vasorum system. × 16.

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    Cast of the internal carotid artery of a rat showing no clear vasa vasorum network. × 200.

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    Cast of an intracranial vein of the rat demonstrating no vasa vasorum. Note the rounded surface imprints made by endothelial cells (arrows). × 400.

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