Occipital artery

The occipital artery arises from the external carotid artery opposite the facial artery, its path is below the posterior belly of digastric to the occipital region. This artery supplies blood to the back of the scalp and sterno-mastoid muscles. Other muscles it supplies are deep muscles in the back and neck.

Small anastomotic channels exist between the occipital artery (OA) and muscular branches of the vertebral artery; however, no direct connection has been reported between an extradural origin of the posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA) and the OA.

The occipital artery (OA) is a critical artery in vascular lesions. However, a comprehensive review of the importance of the OA is currently lacking.

Guo et al., used the PubMed database to perform a review of the literature on the OA to increase our understanding of its role in vascular lesions.

They also provided typical cases to illustrate the importance of the OA. The OA has several variations. For example, it may arise from the internal carotid artery or anastomose with the vertebral artery. Therefore, the OA may provide a crucial collateral vascular supply source and should be preserved in these cases. The OA is a good donor artery. Consequently, it is used in extra- to intracranial bypasses for moyamoya disease (MMD) or aneurysms. The OA can be involved in dural arteriovenous fistula (DAVF) and is a feasible artery for the embolisation of DAVF. True aneurysms and pseudoaneurysms can occur in the OA; surgical resection and embolisation are the effective treatment approaches. Direct high-flow AVF can occur in the OA; embolisation treatment is a good option in such cases. The OA can also be involved in MMD and brain arteriovenous malformation (AVM) by forming transdural collaterals. For a patient in the prone position, if occipital and suboccipital craniotomies are performed, the OA can also be used for intraoperative angiography. In brief, the OA is a very important artery in vascular lesions 1).

Occipital artery-anterior inferior cerebellar artery bypass

Guo Y, Chen H, Chen X, Yu J. Clinical importance of the occipital artery in vascular lesions: A review of the literature. Neuroradiol J. 2019 Jun 12:1971400919857245. doi: 10.1177/1971400919857245. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31188082.
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  • Last modified: 2022/02/23 09:33
  • by administrador