CT Brain Anatomy
Cerebral vascular territories

Key points

  • The cerebral and vertebrobasilar arteries supply regions of the brain in a predictable distribution

Different areas of the brain are supplied by the anterior, middle and posterior cerebral arteries in a predictable distribution. The posterior fossa structures are supplied by the vertebrobasilar arteries.

The arteries of the brain are not well visualised on conventional CT, but a knowledge of the areas of the brain they supply is helpful in determining the source of a vascular insult.

Vascular territories - (above lateral ventricles)

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Vascular territories - (above lateral ventricles)

  • The anterior cerebral arteries supply a narrow band of the cerebral hemispheres adjacent to the midline
  • The middle cerebral artery supplies the largest area of the brain

Vascular territories - (at level of insula)

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Vascular territories - (at level of insula)

  • Multiple tiny perforating branches of the middle cerebral artery supply the region of the basal ganglia and insula

Vascular territories - (at level of cerebellum)

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Vascular territories - (at level of cerebellum)

  • The vertebrobasilar arteries supply the cerebellum and brain stem