Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The vertebral arteries are branches of the subclavian arteries. They arise, one on each side of the body, then enter deep to the transverse process of the level of the 6th cervical vertebrae (C6). It then proceeds superiorly, under the transverse process of each cervical vertebrae until C2 where it enters the skull via foramen magnum. Inside the skull, the two vertebral arteries join up to form the basilar artery at the base of the medulla oblongata. The basilar artery is the main blood supply to the brainstem and connects to the Circle of Willis to potentially supply the rest of the brain if there is compromise to one of the carotids.
At each cervical level, the vertebral artery sends branches to the surrounding musculature (anterior spine arteries).
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details