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Assessment of the Circle of Willis with Cranial Tomography Angiography

Ayse Karatas, Gokmen Coban, Celal Cinar, Ismail Oran, Aysun Uz

Department of Neurosurgery, Izmir Katip Celebi University Ataturk Education and Research Hospital, Izmir, Turkey

Med Sci Monit 2015; 21:2647-2652

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.894322

Available online:

Published: 2015-09-06

BACKGROUND: The circle of Willis is a major collateral pathway important in ischemic conditions. The aim of our study was to assess the structural characteristics of the circle of Willis within the Turkish adult population, along with variations and arteries involved in the measurement of diameters and lengths on cranial computed tomography angiography (CTA).
MATERIAL AND METHODS: One hundred adult patients who underwent CTA images were evaluated retrospectively.
RESULTS: Results of the study revealed 82% adult, 17% fetal, and 1% transitional configurations. A complete polygonal structure was observed in 28% of cases. Variations of the circle of Willis were more common in the posterior portion. Hypoplasia was found to be the most common variation and was observed as a maximum in the posterior communicating artery (AComP).
CONCLUSIONS: The patency and size of arteries in the circle of Willis are important in occlusive cerebrovascular diseases and cerebrovascular surgery. Although CTA is an easily accessible non-invasive clinical method for demonstrating the vascular structure, CTA should be evaluated taking into account image resolution quality and difficulties in the identification of small vessels.

Keywords: Aged, 80 and over, Adult, Adolescent, Cerebral Angiography, Cerebral Arteries - pathology, Circle of Willis - radiography, Tomography, X-Ray Computed, Turkey, young adult