Document Type



Brain and Mind Institute


Background: Knowledge of the anatomy of the circulus arteriosus cerebri (CAC) is important in understanding its role as an arterial anastomotic structure involved in collateral perfusion and equalisation of pressure, and may explain observed variations in neurovascular disease prevalences across populations. This study was aimed at understanding the anatomical configuration and morphometric properties of the CAC in Malawian population. Materials and methods: Brains were collected from 24 recently-deceased black Malawian human cadavers during medico-legal autopsies. Photographs of the CACs were taken using a camera placed at a 30 cm height from the base of the brain. Whole-circle properties and segmental vessel parameters were analysed using the OSIRIS computer programme, paying attention to completeness, typicality, symmetry, and segmental vessel diameters and lengths. Results: The complete-circle configuration was found in 69.57% of the CACs. Of these, 37.5% were typical, representing an overall typicality prevalence of 26.09%. Vessel asymmetry was observed in 30.43% of cases. There were 7 cases of vessel aplasia and 12 cases of vessel hypoplasia. The posterior communicating artery (PcoA) was the most variable (with 12 variations), widest (7.67 mm) and longest (27.7 mm) vessel while the anterior communicating artery (AcoA) was the shortest (0.78 mm). Both the AcoA and the PcoA were the narrowest vessels (0.67 mm) in this study. CAC variations in Malawian populations appeared to be similar to those observed in diverse populations. Conclusions: Anatomical variations of the CAC exist in Malawian population and should be taken into consideration in clinical practice.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.


Folia Morphologica

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