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Neurosurg Rev. 2008 Oct;31(4):385-95; discussion 395-6. doi: 10.1007/s10143-008-0145-5. Epub 2008 Jun 12.

Hypoglossal artery: a review of normal and pathological features.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Nis, Blvd Dr Zoran Dindić 81, 18000 Nis, Serbia. wassa@ptt.yu


The hypoglossal artery is rarely described member of carotid-basilar family anastomoses. Together with a caudal end of the primitive internal artery, trigeminal, otic, and proatlantal intersegmental arteries, it represents the remnant of vascular channels' unsuccessful involution which function normally stops in human embryo with 12 to 14 mm crown-rump length. The persistence of hypoglossal artery alone is usually incidental and asymptomatic finding during the routine angiography, while during autopsies or surgical operations, its presence is frequently associated with other vascular or organic abnormalities and diseases. The aim of this review is to document the hypoglossal artery developmental morphology, as well as the normal anatomical and clinical aspects and better understanding of its persistence overall significance.

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