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Arterial Anatomy

Last Updated: October 1, 2018

Aortic Arch and Proximal Great Vessels


Understanding of aortic arch anatomy is important in neuroangiography for complete radiographic evaluation of the craniocervical vasculature and in vessel selection during angiography procedures. In the majority of individuals, the thoracic aorta courses right to left and anterior to posterior in four segments: ascending aorta, aortic arch, aortic isthmus, and descending aorta. The aortic arch has three proximal great vessels, in the majority of cases (~80%), (from right to left): brachiocephalic artery (BCA), left common carotid artery (LCCA), left subclavian artery (LSCA).

Figure 1: CT Angiogram reconstruction of the aortic arch (left). DSA of the aortic arch and its large branch vessels (right).

Proximal great vessels

  • BCA (brachio...