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Article
November 1959

Compensatory Mechanisms in Occlusive Vascular Disease of the Brain: The Anatomical Basis

AMA Arch Neurol. 1959;1(5):531-534. doi:10.1001/archneur.1959.03840050065009
Abstract

It seems reasonable to assume that after occlusion of one of the major blood vessels of the brain adequate compensatory or collateral circulation must develop in order to confine the resulting brain softening within minimal limits, as well as to provide adequate channels for recovery of the brain tissue. As in the case of other forms of cerebral vascular disease, there are many unresolved issues which confront the clinician after thrombosis or embolism of a brain vessel. Chief among these is the problem of the anatomical basis by which compensatory circulation is provided, once a vessel has been closed by thrombosis, embolism, or atheromatous degeneration.

Anatomy of the Circle of Willis  Though anatomical studies of the configuration of the circle of Willis are available, clinical neurology appears to have had difficulty in making fruitful use of them. It has been known for some time that anomalies of the circle are

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