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Anatomy Research International
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 580765, 3 pages
Research Article

Bilateral Variation in the Origin and Course of the Vertebral Artery

Department of Anatomy, Christian Medical College, Ludhiana, Punjab 141008, India

Received 1 February 2012; Revised 11 April 2012; Accepted 25 April 2012

Academic Editor: M. Spinner

Copyright © 2012 Aprajita Sikka and Anjali Jain. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Understanding the great vessels of the aortic arch and their variations is important for both the endovascular interventionist and the diagnostic radiologist. An understanding of the variability of the vertebral artery remains most important in angiography and surgical procedures where an incomplete knowledge of anatomy can lead to serious implications. In the present case, a bilateral variation in the origin and course of vertebral artery was observed. The left vertebral artery took origin from the arch of aorta and entered the foramen transversarium of the fourth cervical vertebra. The right vertebral artery took origin from the right subclavian artery close to its origin and entered the foramen transversarium of the third cervical vertebra. The literature on the variations of the artery is studied and its clinical significance and ontogeny is discussed.