Basilar artery
Blausen 0114 BrainstemAnatomy.png
The basilar artery lies at the front of the brainstem in the midline and is formed from the union of the two vertebral arteries.
Circle of Willis en.svg
Diagram of the arterial circulation at the base of the brain (inferior view). The basilar artery terminates by splitting into the left and right posterior cerebral arteries.
SourceVertebral arteries
BranchesPontine arteries, anterior inferior cerebellar (AICA) and superior cerebellar arteries, and terminal posterior cerebral arteries.
SuppliesPons, and superior and inferior aspects of the cerebellum.
LatinArteria basilaris
Anatomical terminology

The basilar artery (/ˈbæz.ɪ.lər/)[1][2] is one of the arteries that supplies the brain with oxygen-rich blood.

The two vertebral arteries and the basilar artery are known as the vertebral basilar system, which supplies blood to the posterior part of the circle of Willis and joins with blood supplied to the anterior part of the circle of Willis from the internal carotid arteries.[3][4][5]


The basilar artery arises from the union of the two vertebral arteries at the junction between the medulla oblongata and the pons between the abducens nerves (CN VI).[6]

The diameter of the basilar artery range from 1.5 to 6.6 mm.[7]

It ascends superiorly in the basilar sulcus of the ventral pons and divides at the junction of the midbrain and pons into the posterior cerebral arteries.

Its branches from caudal to rostral include:

Clinical relevance

A basilar artery stroke classically leads to locked-in syndrome.

Additional images


  1. ^ "BASILAR | meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary".
  2. ^ "basilar - Dictionary of English".
  3. ^ Jones, Jeremy. "Basilar artery | Radiology Reference Article |". Radiopaedia.
  4. ^ Purves, Dale (2012). Neuroscience (5th ed.). Sunderland, Mass. pp. 737–738. ISBN 9780878936953.
  5. ^ Carpenter, Malcolm B. (1985). Core text of neuroanatomy (3rd ed.). Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins. pp. 406–410. ISBN 0683014552.
  6. ^ Byrne, James (2012). "Chapter 2. Cranial arterial anatomy". Tutorials in endovascular neurosurgery and interventional neuroradiology. Berlin: Springer. pp. 37–38. ISBN 9783642191541.
  7. ^ Pico F, Labreuche J, Gourfinkel-An I, Amarenco P (September 2006). "Basilar artery diameter and 5-year mortality in patients with stroke". Stroke. 37 (9): 2342–7. doi:10.1161/01.STR.0000236058.57880.03. PMID 16888278.