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vertebral artery


Definition: the first branch of the subclavian artery; for descriptive purposes, divided into four parts, designated V1 to V4: 1) prevertebral part, the portion before it enters the foramen of the transverse process of the sixth cervical vertebra; 2) cervical part, the portion in the transverse foramina of the first six cervical vertebrae; 3) atlantic (suboccipital) part, the portion running along the posterior arch of the atlas; and 4) intracranial part, the portion within the cranial cavity to its union with the artery from the other side to form the basilar artery.

Synonym(s): arteria vertebralisTA

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.