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Lenticulostriate arteries

Recommended video: Arteries of the brain II [13:10]
Arteries of the brain seen from the inferior view of the brain.

The lenticulostriate arteries (anterolateral central arteries) are the anterolateral perforating branches from the anterior part of the Circle of Willis. According to the location of their origin, they are divided into two separate groups: medial and lateral lenticulostriate arteries. 

Collectively these small arteries supply the deep cortical structures. These structures include the structures of the basal ganglia, most of the internal capsule and the anterior commissure.

This article will discuss the anatomy and function of the lenticulostriate arteries.

Key facts about the lenticulostriate arteries
Origin Anterior and middle cerebral arteries
Categories Medial lenticulostriate arteries; lateral lenticulostriate arteries
Supply Medial group supply:  anterior portion of hypothalamus
septum pellucidum
anterior commissure
anterior striatum

Lateral group supply: posterior striatum
lateral globus pallidus
anterior limb, genu and posterior limb of internal capsule

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Lenticulostriate arteries originate from the proximal aspects of the anterior cerebral and middle cerebral arteries. After a short course, they pass through the anterior perforated substance to supply the deep cortical structures.


According to the locations of their origins, the lenticulostriate arteries are arranged in two groups:

  • Medial lenticulostriate arteries include 2-15 perforating branches arising usually from the A1 segment of the anterior cerebral artery. After originating from the proximal part of A1 segment, they enter the brain through the anterior perforated substance. In most cases, they are shorter, thinner and fewer in number than the lateral lenticulostriate arteries. The supply territory includes the anterior portion of hypothalamus, septum pellucidum, anterior commissure, fornix and the anterior striatum. 
  • Lateral lenticulostriate arteries count up to 10 branches that arise from the M1 segment of the middle cerebral artery. They are usually larger than the medial lenticulostriate arteries, having almost twice their diameter. Together with the medial group, they enter the anterior perforated substance. Further, the lateral arteries pierce the lentiform nucleus and internal capsule to reach the caudate nucleus. They supply the posterior striatum, lateral globus pallidus and anterior limb, genu and posterior limb of the internal capsule. 

Clinically significant, and in most cases, the only angiographically visible lenticulostriate artery is the recurrent artery of Heubner. It usually arises from the proximal part of the A2 segment of anterior cerebral (60% of cases). This artery supplies the head of caudate nucleus, anterior limb of internal capsule and anterior putamen.

Learn more about the arteries of the brain with our articles, videos, labeled diagrams and quizzes.

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