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Circle of willis and its variations; morphometric study in adult human cadavers


Int J Med Res Health Sci. |

Authors: Raghavendra, Shirol VS, Daksha Dixit, Anil Kumar Reddy Y, Desai SP
Int J Med Res Health Sci.2014;3(2):394-400 |  DOI: 10.5958/j.2319-5886.3.2.081


Background and Objectives: Circle of Willis plays a vital role in collateral circulation and redistribution of blood to all areas of the brain. Variation in circle of Willis is known to cause grave disorders like cerebrovascular disorders, subarachnoid haemorrhage, cerebral aneurysm and schizophrenia. The objectives of the present study are to study the formation and branching pattern of circle of Willis and also to study the distribution of variations. MATERIALS & Methods: The study was conducted on 50 adult brain specimens. Each brain was removed in one piece by dissection and the circle of Willis was observed for its formation, pattern and variations. Results: Among the 50 specimens studied, 28 cases (56%) had a normal pattern of circle of Willis and variations were observed in the remaining 22 cases (44%). More number of variations was observed on the right side than on the left side. The most common variation observed was hypoplastic posterior communicating artery (7 cases, 31.8%). Posterior communicating artery was found to be the most variable vessel while middle cerebral artery was the least variable vessel. Interpretation and Conclusion: The results with respect to the circle of Willis and all its component arteries were consistent with the results in the available literature. The only exception was the increased incidence of absence of both the anterior and posterior communicating arteries. This finding is of clinical significance to neurologists and neurosurgeons in this geographical location of north Karnataka. A higher incidence of variations in the communicating arteries is likely to manifest as a higher incidence in disorders like migraine, schizophrenia and cerebrovascular disorders due to compromised collateral circulation and poor redistribution of blood.

Keywords: Circle of Willis, Anterior Cerebral Artery; Middle Cerebral Artery; Posterior Cerebral Artery; Anterior Communicating Artery; Posterior Communicating Artery

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