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Penetrating Branches of the ACA and MCA

Surgical Correlation


Penetrating branches of the ACA and MCA.  Coronal section through the brain at the level of the bifurcation of the internal carotid artery (ICA).  The ICA bifurcates into its two terminal branches, the anterior cerebral artery (ACA) and middle cerebral artery (MCA).  The proximal portion of the ACA gives origin to the recurrent artery of Heubner (medial striate artery), a penetrating artery that supplies the anteromedial basal ganglia and the inferior portion of the anterior limb of the internal capsule.  The MCA gives rise to several narrow, vertically-oriented lateral striatal, or lenticulostriatal, arteries.  The latter vessels penetrate the overlying brain and supply deep structures of the diencephalon and telencephalon, including the head and body of the caudate nucleus, lenticular nucleus, and of special clinical significance, the posterior limb of the internal capsule. (Image courtesy of AL Rhoton, Jr.)