Circle of Willis Watch

jsmith6131
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Here is an image of it: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...lis_en.svg.png

I don't understand how it works; if a have a blockage at the joining of the two vertebral arteries (i.e: the base of the basillar artery) how will the anterior inferior cerebeallar artery / superior cerebellar arteries be perfused? blood doesn't flow in a two way system?
many thanks
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Alexandra_Willis
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My name is Willis ))
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Hype en Ecosse
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What you have to remember is that blood flows from areas of high pressure to low pressure. It follows similar rules to other fluids and electricity: it'll follow the path of least resistance.

So, for example, the water coming up from the vertebral arteries is pushed up by the higher pressure behind it until it flows past the branches of the anterior spinal artery: some flows down the ASA, some more gets pushed up into the basillar artery.

In the case of a bilateral blockage of the vertebral arteries, then the blood coming from the internal carotid can flow DOWN the posterior communicating artery and flow back through the basilar artery to reach all parts of the cerebellar circulation.

Remember that diagrams of the circle of Willis ara a crude 2D

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