The circle of Willis in healthy older persons

C. Macchi, R. Molino Lova, B. Miniati, M. Gulisano, C. Pratesi, A. A. Conti, G. F. Gensini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background. The current indication for carotid surgery is based upon the percentage of stenosis of the internal carotid artery. This approach shows many limitations, one of which is to presume the anatomical completeness of the circle of Willis in all patients who are evaluated. On the contrary, there is increasing evidence of a great natural variability in the configuration of the circle of Willis. Methods. The aim of the present paper was to investigate, by magnetic resonance angiography, the variability of the circle of Willis in a cohort of 118 healthy older persons. Results. The circle of Willis showed an entirely complete configuration in 47% of the subjects, a complete configuration of its anterior part in 90% of the subjects, and a complete configuration of its posterior part in 48.5% of the subjects. Conclusions. These findings confirm the great variability of the circle of Willis even in healthy older persons and suggest that, in indicating carotid surgery, the configuration of the circle of Willis should also be taken into account.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)887-890
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Surgery
Volume43
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2002

Keywords

  • Aged
  • Carotid stenosis, surgery
  • Cerebrovascular accident
  • Circle of Willis
  • Magnetic resonance angiography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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