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Neuroanatomy of the middle cerebral artery: implications for thrombectomy
  1. Maksim Shapiro1,
  2. Eytan Raz2,
  3. Erez Nossek3,
  4. Breehan Chancellor1,
  5. Koto Ishida4,
  6. Peter Kim Nelson1
  1. 1 Radiology and Neurology, New York University Langone Medical Center, New York, New York, USA
  2. 2 Radiology, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York, New York, USA
  3. 3 Neurosurgery, NYU School of Medicine, New York, New York, USA
  4. 4 Neurology, New York University Langone Medical Center, New York, New York, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Maksim Shapiro, Radiology and Neurology, New York University Langone Medical Center, New York, NY 10016, USA; maksim.shapiro{at}


Our perspective on anatomy frequently depends on how this anatomy is utilized in clinical practice, and by which methods knowledge is acquired. The thrombectomy revolution, of which the middle cerebral artery (MCA) is the most common target, is an example of a clinical paradigm shift with a unique perspective on cerebrovascular anatomy. This article reviews important features of MCA anatomy in the context of thrombectomy. Recognizing that variation, frequently explained by evolutionary concepts, is the rule when it comes to branching pattern, vessel morphology, territory, or collateral potential is key to successful thrombectomy strategy.

  • artery
  • blood flow
  • brain
  • thrombectomy
  • stroke
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  • Contributors All of the following authors, MS, ER, EN, BC, KI, PKN, have made: Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND Final approval of the version to be published; AND All in agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved. All authors meet criteria for substantial contributions to this manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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