Extracranial Segments of the Vertebral Artery: Insight in the Developmental Changes up to the 21st Year of Life

  • Vasović LjiljanaEmail author
  • Jovanović Ivan
  • Ugrenović Slađana
  • Vlajković Slobodan
  • Jovanović Predrag
  • Đorđević Gordana
Part of the Advances and Technical Standards in Neurosurgery book series (NEUROSURGERY, volume 40)


The vertebral artery (VA) bilaterally arises usually from the subclavian artery and courses within the bony canals of cervical vertebrae, and then it reverses directions on the first vertebra before piercing the dura to enter the cranium.

The aim was to follow (ab)normal developmental changes of extracranial VA from prenatal status to age 21. This chapter included a brief description of the arterial embryology and morphofunctional specificity of the VA in prevertebral, cervical, and atlantic parts, during prenatal and postnatal period.

The authors concluded that the subclavian origin of the VA was in most of fetal and adult cases. The incidences of variable VA origins and domination of one of the VAs were different from one series of human specimens to the second one. Although in most of cases, anomalous origin and/or variable course of the extracranial VA had little or did not result in clinical symptoms in infants and young adults, the true value of their discovery is in the diagnostic gain before vascular surgery of supra-aortic arteries.


Human vertebral artery Prevertebral part Cervical part Atlantic part Prenatal and postnatal status 



This work is supported by Ministry of Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia (contract grant number: 175092).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vasović Ljiljana
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jovanović Ivan
    • 1
  • Ugrenović Slađana
    • 1
  • Vlajković Slobodan
    • 1
  • Jovanović Predrag
    • 2
  • Đorđević Gordana
    • 3
  1. 1.Faculty of Medicine, Department of AnatomyUniversity of NišNišSerbia
  2. 2.Faculty of Medicine, Clinic of OphthalmologyUniversity of NišNišSerbia
  3. 3.Department of PediatricHealth CenterNišSerbia

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