Middle Cerebral Artery

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The middle cerebral artery is the largest branch of the internal carotid artery. It is a paired artery that supplies oxygenated blood to the anterolateral frontal lobe, most of the temporal lobe, and parietal lobe of one of the two cerebral hemispheres. In most individuals, the middle cerebral artery bifurcates into two large branches, which divide in turn into four smaller branches or segments: 1) horizontal segment M1, which runs outwards and almost horizontally towards the insula (the deep fold within the Sylvian fissure), giving off the lateral lenticulostriate branches that supply the anterolateral region of the frontal lobe; 2) the Sylvian segment M2, which extends anteriorly on the insula; 3) the opercular segments M3, that travels laterally exteriorly from the insula towards the cortex; 4) the cortical segments M4, which supply the cortex.