Bilateral persistent primitive trigeminal arteries associated with trigeminal neuralgia.Clin Neuroradiol. 2013 Mar; 23(1):45-9.CN
Persistent carotid-vertebrobasilar anastomoses (PCVBA) include the primitive trigeminal artery (PTA), the primitive otic artery (POA), the primitive hypoglossal artery and proatlantal arteries (ProAs). The PTA is the most commonly seen of these accounting for approximately 80-85% of PCVBAs. The PTA which connects the internal carotid artery (ICA) to the basilar artery (BA) may occasionally connect to the superior or posterior inferior cerebellar arteries without interposition to the BA. It is then referred to as a persistent trigeminal artery variant (PTAV), an anomalous carotid-cerebellar anastomosis. Bilateral occurrence of PTA is extremely rare. During vertebral artery (VA) development the anterior radicular artery of segment C1 from the proatlantal artery of Padget evolves into the intradural component of the VA (V4 segment) plus a short extradural segment (distal V3 segment). Agenesis of a single anterior radicular artery of ProA results in the absence of one distal VA associated with an unremarkable contralateral VA and the BA. Absence or hypoplasia of the terminal portion of one VA is a commonly observed anatomic variant. However, absence of the terminal portions of both VAs is exceptional. A rare case of bilateral PTAs is presented with unilateral PTA and a contralateral PTAV causing trigeminal neuralgia. Furthermore, the bilateral PTAs were associated with the absence of the proximal portion of the BA in addition to the bilateral lack of a distal VA. This finding comes as a logical consequence of the developmental anatomy of the vertebrobasilar junction and is consistent with the assumed congenital nature of the anatomic variant.